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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

City of Mitchell prepares for Monon Trail Construction from Indiana State Road 60 to Woodville Road

MITCHELL - MARCH 6, 2024 - Jeff Qulye, Radius of Indiana updated the Mitchell City Council on the Monon Trail that will eventually run from Yockey Road to New Albany, Indiana on the former CSX railroad.



Photo: Mitchell segment of the Monon South Greenway


The design phase of the project is now complete and now bids and construction of the trail from Indiana State Road 60 to Woodville Road bidding is set to begin around April or early May.


The construction of is set to begin around June or July.




The Mitchell segment will consist of three-miles which will be paved 10 feet wide with two feet of gravel on the shoulders.


Each community will have a trail head bringing a place for tourists and visitors to gather. The Mitchell trail head being located downtown so the visitors could visit the local businesses.


Some properties have been acquired in the area of 5th and Mississippi Streets to facilitate parking.



Photo: The blue area will be used for the Shelter for the Farmer's Market


Jeff Qulye asked the city council to vacate a portion of 5th Street from Mississippi to Frank Street and from Frank Street to Grissom to be used for the trail to be used for a Farmer's Market Shelter or Playground, Friday night music and other amenities.


The amenities of park benches, parking, bike racks, bike repairs, public information kiosks, public restrooms, and playgrounds.


Radius has the funding to pay for the parking, benches, bike racks, bike repair stations, kiosks, restrooms, and landscaping.


However, Radius does not have the funding to pay for the the Farmer's Market Shelter or the playground.


Radius plans to invest $1.2 million in trail heads and and $2 to $3 million on the trail itself.


The last train to run on the rails was in 2008, with CSX deciding they no longer needed to the use the railroad tracks. Rail service fell by the wayside as transportation of goods shifted to other means.


Photo: The rails have been removed from Mitchell to New Albany


CSX transportation made the decision in 2018 to abandon the rail line. The Surface Transportation Board allowed Radius of Indiana to acquire the rail line. One of the purposes of the rails to trails program is to keep the corridor intact, and with any changes in the economy and rail service is needed the corridor will allow rail transportation to return.





In 2020 and 2021, Radius led the efforts with Clark & Dietz and Taylor Sieflker Williams Design Group to work through a visioning process for converting the former rail line to a rail to trails.



Radius Indiana then used the Vision Book as part of its funding application for the trail.


Radius of Indiana being an Economic Development Group wanted to help with the planning of future of economic development along the trails and in the communities associated with the trails.


The Indiana Department of Natural Resources awarded a $29.5 Million Next Level Trails grant towards the project. Part of the grant went for the purchase and acquisition of the trail and remaining divided up between New Albany and Radius of Indiana on a per mile basis.


New Albany will be developing the trails in New Albany and Floyd Counties, Radius of Indiana developing the trail in Clark, Washington, Orange and Lawrence Counties.


OVERALL PROJECT DESIGN AND TIMELINE FOR SOUTH MONON TRAIL PROJECT


  • 1. NEXT LEVEL TRAILS FUNDING RECEIVED - WINTER 2023

  • 2. CORRIDOR SURVEY - SPRING 2023

  • 3. RAILS REMOVED - SUMMER 2023

  • 4. TRAIL DESIGN & PUBLIC ENGAGMENT WORKSHOPS - SUMMER 2023

  • 5. TRAIL DESIGN - FALL-WINTER 2023

  • 6. CONSTRUCTION BEGINS - SPRING 2024

  • 7. PHASE 1 OF TRAIL OPENS TO PUBLIC

  • 8. CONSTRUCTION OF RURAL COUNTY SEGMENTS 2025 -2027

  • 9.FULL TRAIL OPENS TO THE PUBLIC - FUTURE


The trail projects and focus will be in the urban sections of the trails first such as New Albany, Mitchell, Orleans, Salem and etc.


The public can go to the following websites or Facebook to keep informed and engaged on the project.


Websites include:



Carol Steward and Sandy Kendall of Orleans attended the meeting in Salem about the South Monon Trail Project


There are more than 128 bridges and just as many culverts along the trail that will have some financial impacts.


CXS Transportation is expected to start removing the tracks from the crossings throughout the rail line in the coming months.


The next steps will be community workshops that will be held on June 21 - 22nd and June 28 -29th with times and locations that will be announced at a later time. The workshops will be more community focused. However, public is invited to attend them all.


For breaking news, news and information go to lczephyr.org or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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