Cultural Trail secures $1M donation for expansion project

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has secured a $1 million grant from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation to help fund the trail’s planned $30 million expansion.

Announced a year ago, the project will add two miles to the existing eight-mile Cultural Trail, representing its first expansion since the trail opened in 2013.

Including the Eli Lilly Foundation gift, the Cultural Trail has secured $27 million for the project to date. That total includes a previously announced $20 million from a separate donor, Lilly Endowment Inc.

Project design is already underway. Construction is expected to begin in the late summer, and the project is expected to be complete next year.

One portion of the expansion will run along South Street, connecting the trail between New Jersey Street near Fletcher Place to Capitol Avenue near Lucas Oil Stadium.

The other expansion will begin on Indiana Avenue at the Madam Walker Legacy Center (formerly the Madam Walker Theatre). The extension will run northwest along Indiana Avenue to 10th Street, then west along 10th Street to the planned bridge that will connect with the 16 Tech innovation district.

“This generous investment from the Lilly Foundation will allow even more people to take advantage of the trail and will better connect our city’s thriving neighborhoods,” Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley said in written remarks.

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