Indianapolis is set to receive $5 million through the Next Level Trail grant program to help construct a trail along the Nickel Plate rail corridor between 42nd and 96th streets, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday.
With funding now secured, Department of Public Works officials estimate that construction on the trail could begin as early as 2023 and could be completed by the end of 2024. The total project cost is estimated at more than $12 million.
DPW planners and engineers applied to Next Level Trail program in each of the previous two grant cycles for the necessary funding to complete the trail.
The city said several neighborhood groups and civic institutions participated in or lent their support to the Indianapolis bid, including the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Binford Redevelopment and Growth, the Friends of the Nickel Plate Trail and the Greater Allisonville Road Community Council
“Our community’s trail network has become a haven of stress-relief, physical fitness and recreation for residents–as well as a reliable option for countless commuters,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in written remarks. “With this announcement, we can celebrate long-awaited and exciting news for residents in the city’s northeast neighborhoods and trail users around the city and the region.”
DPW will manage the construction of 10.3 miles of the trail in Indianapolis, bringing multimodal connectivity from near the Indiana State Fairgrounds at 42nd Street to the northern county line. The new infrastructure will connect to the existing Monon Trail by a link along 42nd Street. The project also includes a 0.5-mile trail spur that will connect to Sahm Park and a second trail spur off of 62nd Street connecting to Eastwood Middle School.
Fishers received $4.5 million and Noblesville acquired $3.1 million in funding through the Next Level Trails program to build portions of the Nickel Plate Trail north of 96th Street.
Fishers’ project includes a pedestrian bridge along the trail alignment over 96th Street. Once completed, the trail through Indianapolis, Fishers and Noblesville will complete a nearly 17-mile Nickel Plate Trail corridor.
More information on Next Level Trails grant program can be found here.