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New details revealed in Indianapolis' plan to convert rail to trail

Posted at 2:19 PM, May 28, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — The City of Indianapolis plans to convert 8.6 miles of unused railroad tracks to a trail within the next few years.

The plans have been in the works for a few months, but more details are now publicly available, thanks to a grant proposal the city sent to the State Indiana. The proposal was released by the Department of Public Works to RTV6 Tuesday morning.

The first phase of Indianapolis’ project is expected to cost $5.4 million. The city is asking for a grant from the state’s Next Level Trails program for $3.5 million, meaning the city will match about 35% of the grant, well over the required 20% match requirement.

The trail design and engineering parts of the project are expected to cost $1.34 million, while the rest of the cost will go toward the actual construction of the trail, such as pavement, signs and signals, maintaining traffic and inspection.

The first phase will convert 5.2 miles of railroad lines from 62nd Street and Allisonville Road to 96th Street, near I-69. The second phase, which is not part of the $5.4 million estimate, would connect to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on 38th Street, then follow Binford Boulevard and Allisonville Road northeast to 62nd Street.

The trail will continue to 96th Street, where Fishers will take over as it heads into Hamilton County.

“We can create a one-of-a-kind 40-mile pedestrian loop and inspire discovery and wellness for all who visit Central Indiana,” the city wrote in its grant proposal.

Indianapolis’ proposal includes letters of support from U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana, the City of Fishers, the City of Noblesville, the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and others.