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Fall Creek Trail Extension Set for Construction

A long-awaited extension of the Fall Creek Trail is set for construction later this year. This 1.4 mile segment will connect the current southern terminus at the Monon Trail to the orphaned spur of trail between Meridian St. and Central Ave.

While comprehensive planning for the Fall Creek Trail route from the White River in downtown to Skiles Test Nature Park in the northeast was completed in 1999, this segment has languished without funding as other easier-to-construct segments were built first. At long last, in July 2011, Indianapolis received a $1M Federal Transportation Enhancement grant for construction of this segment. In November 2011, it was amended into the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization 2012-2015 Regional Transportation Improvement Program, with a $250k local funding match. As of January 2012, it is officially in the City of Indianapolis RebuildIndy Planned Projects list with an anticipated construction start date of 10/1/12.


NOTE: Route approximate. View Fall Creek Trail Extension 2012 in a larger map

When this segment is completed, the only segment of the original plan left to construct is from Meridian St. southwest to Indiana Ave. This zone offers the possibility of connectivity with both the Central Canal Towpath and the White River Trail, but it also presents many design challenges, most prominently how to navigate the zone around the canal aqueduct over the Fall Creek. The aqueduct is owned by Citizens Water and represents both a source of drinking water and a potential security risk. Time will tell what form this segment takes but hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later and we can enjoy this essential cog in the city’s trails plan.

11 Responses to “ “Fall Creek Trail Extension Set for Construction”

  1. Robb says:

    Finally! I’m very excited to hear your news, thank you- our home sits right by the Monon/Fall Creek intersection. The only thing that’s bothered me is that on the residential side of the Parkway (North Drive… the 5-lane) the sidewalk doesn’t intersect the Monon… Residents have to (1) struggle up an incredibly steep hill or (2) attempt crossing 5 lanes of traffic or (3) just go elsewhere. It’s a silly oversight to cut off the community from the Trails, and a special intersection could be designed (I’m aware sidewalks are not normally intentionally brought to an intersection with the Trails). As a side benefit, pedestrians could finally avoid the extremely unsafe narrow strip of “sidewalk” they’ve been given underneath the Monon overpass. Just my two cents on an unfortunate exclusion of my neighborhood from the embrace of the trails. I would think trail users would apreciate the added security of close residential help, frankly.

  2. Brandon says:

    Love the Fall Creek area!!! Nice to see them getting attention from the trail there. Looking forward to seeing the effects of this!

  3. Chris Barnett says:

    At last. (I joke that IndyParks was tired of me badgering them for five years.)
    .
    Robb, your concern about access is specifically addressed in the Mid North Quality of Life plan as well as the Destination Fall Creek initiative. When we mapped “access to parks” for the whole Mid North area, the worst access was for the folks who can see the trail up the embankment and see the park across the Parkway.
    .
    Getting on the Monon Trail within the Mapleton Fall Creek and Watson McCord neighborhoods, as well as getting into the creekside parkland, are both priorities for the neighbors working on implementation. There’s more on that subject here:
    http://www.ibj.com/property-lines-2012-04-10-group-s-goal–turn-fall-creek-into-a-recreation-destination/PARAMS/post/33748

  4. Chris Barnett says:

    Coming Saturday: a “teaser” early-action project, a down payment on “Reconnecting to Our Waterways” on Fall Creek.

    KIB, Ivy Tech, DPW crews and neighborhood volunteers, as part of the “Greater Indy Cleanup”, will do invasive brush removal and cleanup around two of the historic Fall Creek bridges. With any luck, next Monday there will be vistas to the College and Central Ave bridges from the Parkway. Maybe even views to water!

    Creating something to see = traffic calming.

  5. Robb says:

    Chris: is there a link to the “neighborhood volunteers” part of that? Or a phone number or other contact?

  6. Chris Barnett says:

    Follow the link two posts above to the IBJ story. There’s another link inside the IBJ post that leads to contact info.

  7. Jerry Collns says:

    Is there any chance you can talk to the power company about allowing bicycle access onto the dam at the Fall Creek Trail, starting from the walking path behind Sundae’s Ice Cream on 79th Street and ending at the Geist Reservoir Dam.

    It is too steep to go up that final hill past the dam carrying a bike, and would open up the entire Geist Reservoir sidewalk system to Lawrence residents, in essence opening up the entire NE quadrant of Fishers to bicyclists. As it is, Lawrence feels so small and cramped, and that mile and a half on Fall Creek Road from 79th to the sidewalk beginning at the dam is mighty, mighty dangerous.

    Please keep in mind that Indianapolis owns the right of way for Fall Creek Road all the way to 96th Street, so this small but meaningful project would be under your jurisdiction.

  8. Chris Barnett says:

    The recently-organized Friends of Fort Harrison State Park group is working to link the Fall Creek Trail from Skiles Test Park into Lawrence.

  9. Ryan Funk says:

    Looks like the Board of Public Works also approved up to $250k for the project in July. http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPW/Board/Documents/071112_minutes.pdf (see item #8)

    According to this document, it looks like some design work starts today but construction is slated for Jan. 15…does anyone know more about this project? http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPW/Business/Documents/Planned_Projects_12mo_2012.05.07%20(F).pdf

  10. Ryan Funk says:

    The last link seems to be broken. You can find that document by following the first hit google gives you for “Alice Carter Park and Fall Creek Trail”

  11. Matt says:

    Any update on if this Fall Creek Trail extension is going to be done? Delayed? Driving Fall Creek, I don’t see any sign of construction along this route. I’d love to see it happen, as I would use it for a great deal of my bike commuting.

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