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Downtown Lafayette "blight" to be cleaned up

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A former industrial site in downtown Lafayette should be cleaned up later this summer. The 2.3 acres are just south of South Street along the river.

It was officially designated a slum and blight spot by the city council last year.

Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) executive director Stan Lambert says the organization bought the property in 2010.

“In 2011, we did Phase 1 and 2 environmental assessments and determined what the contamination was, and there is ground and surface contamination there,” he says. “It’s a former coal yard, former fuel depot, Purdue did asphalt research there.”

Lambert says once the land is clean, they want to extend the Wabash Heritage Trail under the bridge to the Wabash Avenue neighborhood.

“This is kind of a control point for getting Wabash Avenue connected up with the Lafayette-West Lafayette urban core there,” he says. “So being able to get a trail down there, you’ll be able to just walk up, come over to the restaurants, go see a movie.”

When the property clean-up is finished, Lambert says it will complete a nearly 20 acre stretch of land along the Wabash River. WREC is using $50,000 to fund part of the clean-up.

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