INDIANAPOILS (WISH) — As drivers prepare to navigate the North Split closure this weekend, pedestrians on the Monon Trail are also being asked to reroute.
INDOT is building the Monon Loop, which pedestrians will be able to use once part of the trail is closed for safety during construction.
Mark Daniel and his dog Beau use the Monon Trail near the North Split and play at the fields almost every day.
“Especially when it gets warm it is packed. When people get off work sometimes it gets overcrowded almost,” Daniel said.
He was excited to hear that they wouldn’t be losing out on part of the trail because of construction.
“You don’t ever want to slow down anything in the trail because people really do use this to exercise and they love it and it is part of their life. So we don’t want to slow anything down. We just want to keep the process and keep it moving and then eventually we will have more options available,” he said.
INDOT will have to close a portion of the trail while the project is underway.
“There is a section of the Monon that goes basically underneath the North Split and obviously we can’t have people there during the construction for safety reasons,” Mallory Duncan, INDOT spokeswoman, said.
It seems when one trail closes, another opens. INDOT is currently building an extension that will serve as a loop to go around the construction and connect the Old North Side Trail to the Cultural Trail at 10th Street.
“That is actually really beneficial because I will often come onto 16th onto the Monon and for that to be cut off that kind of cuts me off from the Cultural Trail and downtown. So to have an additional trail that I can go on is actually really, I didn’t know that was going to happen, so I am kind of looking forward to that now,” said Meghan Dindle who uses that portion of the Cultural Trail.
The new widened 12 foot multi-use sidewalk will not only give pedestrians a view of the progress over the next 18 months but will also increase accessibility in the area.
“Especially in this area with it being close to Bottleworks and The Garage and all of that I feel like it will get a lot of use,” said Dindle.
The Monon Loop is expected to open in about a week. INDOT says they will not close the existing trail until the new section is ready and when construction is done both the existing and new trail will remain open.