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Town proceeds with plans for Urban Trail

Town proceeds with plans for Urban Trail
Town proceeds with plans for Urban Trail
The Corydon Town Council, at its March 16 meeting, approved the above plan for the revised Urban Trail project and now will seek approval from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation, which has committed $2.5 million toward the trail. Diagram courtesy of The Wheatley Group
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

While the scope of a proposed Urban Trail for downtown Corydon has changed since it was submitted in 2016 as part of the town’s Stellar application, town officials are proceeding with the project.

Jill S. Saegesser, vice president of Redevelopment and Grant Services for The Wheatley Group, presented the latest proposal to the Corydon Town Council at its meeting March 16.

She noted that $2.5 million was set aside for the initial trail project which was met with “a number of problems.”

Corydon was selected as a Stellar Community in August of 2016, providing approximately $34 million over four years with some funding coming from multiple existing federal programs.

Town proceeds with plans for Urban Trail
Harlan Fisher, who was selected recently to fill the unexpired term of Tyson Uhl on the Corydon Town Council, signs paperwork after the March 16 council meeting. Uhl resigned earlier this year due to moving out of state. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor

The original plan would have run along North Capitol Avenue, beginning near the north bridge and continuing south to Chestnut Street, where it would have continued east to College Avenue.

Saegesser said officials with the Indiana Dept. of Transportation, which wants to see the project happen, offered the town more time to complete the project.

“So, that’s where we are,” she said.

The new proposed route would run between College Avenue and Big Indian Creek to the west, with Chestnut Street as the main corridor and encompassing Mulberry Street between Logan’s Trail and Chestnut.

Saegesser said a pedestrian crossing would be needed at the low-water bridge on Mulberry and a cross walk at the Corydon School Senior Lofts located on the northwest corner of College and Chestnut would be installed to allow pedestrians to cross the highway to the soon-to-be restored Rice Island.

“We don’t know how much it’s going to cost now,” Saegesser said of the project that had an original price tag of $3,013.979.

She added the cross walk piece of the plan could be removed, since it would likely be 2023 before it could be installed.

“We really can’t wait” that long, Saegesser said.

She suggested the council determine the route it wants to use, get INDOT’s approval and then price it.

“One thing INDOT has said, if you start a project with their money, they are likely to provide additional funds,” if needed, Saegesser said.

Lester (Les) Rhoads, president of the council, said there are sidewalks and curbs along Chestnut Street that need improving.

“The big question we have tonight is, do we do away with a smaller plan?” he said. “We’re pretty much starting over.”

Saegesser suggested if the town was going to “bust up” sidewalks there, it might as well also upgrade utilities in the area.

Councilmember Hope Schneider made a motion, which passed unanimously (Doug Castetter was absent), to proceed with the new Urban Trail project.

Saegesser said she would set up a meeting with INDOT to get its commitment of 80% of the funds.

Rhoads noted the Rice Island renovation, which became part of the Stellar program for the town, is “basically done.” He said a wall will be added between Chestnut Street and the playground on the north side of the creek to help provide a safety barrier, leaving the sidewalk to be completed and the paving of the parking lot.

“The rest rooms still aren’t open; testing needs to be done,” Rhoads said.

A grand opening will take place this summer, he said.

“COVID should loosen up and we’ll have a lot to celebrate,” he added.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall.