The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority is poised to get $289,750 from a railroad materials company for the Nickel Plate Railroad’s track.
Salt Lake City-based A&K Railroad Materials Inc. submitted the winning bid out of five bidders who responded to a request for proposals to remove 22 miles of track from Indianapolis to Noblesville and sell the materials for scrap.
The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority manages and operates the railroad for its owners, Fishers, Noblesville and Hamilton County. The owners plan to convert the track into a pedestrian trail through Fishers and Noblesville.
Removing the 6,300 tons of rail and 7,000 wooden ties will pave the way for work to begin on building the Nickel Plate Trail, which in Hamilton County will run from 96th Street in Fishers to Pleasant Street in Noblesville. Indianapolis is also considering building a trail on the rail bed.
Fishers expects to begin work on its roughly 4.5-mile segment of the trail this fall, constructing the pathway from 106th Street to 126th Street, including a tunnel under 116th Street.
Noblesville is further behind Fishers and has yet to start planning construction of its trail.
The HHPA issued an RFP for the track removal in early June, setting a June 28 deadline for proposals. The board later extended the deadline to allow for more bids to be submitted.
One bid was submitted past the second deadline and was not considered.
Bids for the track removal work varied, with some companies requiring the authority to pay for a portion of the work because the bidders estimated scrap proceeds would not cover their costs.
Bloomington-based National Salvage and Service Corp.’s bid required the HHPA to pay it $140,000 for track removal.
The winning bid does not include track removal from Division Street to Logan Street in Noblesville or through Forest Park, but the authority said it could ask A&K to add that segment into the scope of its work.
Before A&K can get to work, the Hamilton County Commissioners and the boards of public works for both cities must approve the bid as well as license agreements to maintain, insure and control the track within their limits.
The HHPA will continue to oversee the portion of the track that runs north of Noblesville and is used for excursion trains.