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Indianapolis opens bridge for Fall Creek Trail

Indianapolis opens bridge for Fall Creek Trail, from News 8 at 10 p.m. Sept. 20, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new portion of Indianapolis’ Fall Creek Trail has opened.

City government leaders on Tuesday cut the ribbon on a new pedestrian bridge near West 17th and Milburn streets, which is west of the Fall Creek waterway. The expansion connected the west side of downtown to Fort Harrison State Park in the city of Lawrence in northeastern Marion County.

The effort of Indianapolis Department of Public Works is one phase of work to connect more than 50 miles of multiuse paths.

Brian Carman, president of Near North Development Corp., said, “I think it serves at a great point of emphasis and a point of reiteration on just how serious and intentional that the mayor and the city is about increasing connectivity throughout our shared communities.”

The expansion is part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s $1.2 billion capital plan, which includes $100 million dedicated to new and upgraded trails. The Democrat mayor faces Republican Jefferson Shreve in the Nov. 5 election.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. The story was updated and the video reclipped Wednesday to correct information about the funding of the project.

News release

“Mayor Hogsett, Indy DPW cut ribbon on Fall Creek Trail Phase 2

“INDIANAPOLIS – This morning Mayor Joe Hogsett joined Indy DPW Director Brandon Herget and City-Council Vice President Zach Adamson to cut a ribbon marking the completion of the Fall Creek Trail Phase 2. This is a major milestone towards creating a regional connection for the trail. 

“The announcement highlighted Mayor Hogsett’s efforts to create a robust and vibrant trails network throughout Indianapolis. The City is in the midst of a 5-year, 1.2-billion-dollar capital plan, which has 100 million dollars’ worth of new and upgraded trails, amounting to more than 50 miles of protected, multi-modal travel within Indianapolis.

“‘Today’s ribbon cutting underscores our commitment to creating more ways to safely get where we want to go; more reasons to be active outside; more chances to meet other people in our community,’ said Mayor Joe Hogsett. ‘This segment of the Fall Creek Greenway has been the work of many hands over many years. That includes 10 years of collaboration between Indy Parks, Indy DPW, and the Indy MPO. And, this all comes nearly 30 years after Parks completed the very first Fall Creek trail segment back in 1996.’

“This $4.6 million multimodal trail update connects Fall Creek Trail Phase I at Burdsal Parkway and the Central Canal to the White River Trail at Indiana Avenue and 10th Street. The project includes a 350-foot pedestrian bridge across Fall Creek, just north of West 16th Street. 

“Residents can now get from Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park, through Graham Edward Martin Park, into downtown Indianapolis via the Cultural Trail. Residents will soon be able to connect from the Fall Creek Greenway to the Nickel Plate Trail and then continue onto a 42-mile loop spanning three counties.

“‘Projects like the Greenway not only help beautify the neighborhoods they connect with, they drive an interconnectedness throughout Indianapolis’ said Indy DPW Director Herget. ‘Serious investment in our infrastructure means better roads, drainage and, of course like we see here today, trails.’

“The Fall Creek Greenway is the longest planned contiguous Greenway in the Indy Greenway Full Circle Master Plan. In addition to Fall Creek, Mayor Hogsett has invested in several key connectors already under construction or planned in the near future. These include the IU Health Multi-Use Connector, Pleasant Run Trail, Nickel Plate Trail and the Pogue’s Run Greenway.”

“With over 22.6 miles of planned greenway and 19.5 miles completed, Fall Creek Greenway connects nine city and state parks, more than 12 neighborhoods to downtown, and six other greenways within Central Indiana.

“‘Our greenway trails provide safety, connectivity and accessibility for both residents and visitors,’ said Vice President and Chair of Public Works Committee Zach Adamson. ‘Trails also improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and make communities a more attractive place to live, work, and play, and I am excited that the second phase of Fall Creek Trail is now open.’

“Fall Creek Greenway was a significant part of the 1909 George Kessler Park & Boulevard System Plan, also known as the Kessler Plan. The plan was a vision to connect every neighborhood of the City through a chain of continuous parks and boulevards, adjacent to streams and waterways that protected natural floodways.”

“The Kessler Plan is recognized as one of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) Centennial Award projects, recognizing 100 of the most significant works in landscape architecture in the country.

“The last leg of the Fall Creek Greenway will connect Fort Harrison State Park to the Geist Reservoir. The City of Lawrence has applied through round 4 of the Next Level Trails grant program to nearly complete the northern portion of the Fall Creek Greenway, creating both another regional connection and advancing the State Visionary Trail Network, which spans three counties.”

News release from Corey Ohlenkamp, public information officer, Indianapolis Department of Public Works