Connectivity and centerpiece are two of the terms used to describe plans to extend the Industrial Heritage Trail through downtown Kokomo this year.
The trail, an extension of the Nickel Plate Trail, will span the entire county from north to south. Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said he feels the city’s plans will exemplify both terms because the trail will be both functional and decorative.
“It’s all about connectivity,” Goodnight said. “Even though this is the downtown section, this is really more about connecting our whole county through the city. It’s the toughest part, because it’s the oldest, most dense area, so it’s the most urbanized part of the trail. We think we can enhance it to really tie our whole city together.”
The most pressing construction work could start as early as April, with the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety receiving bids on the project until Feb. 26.
The project area will focus on the east side of Buckeye Street from Superior Street to Jackson Street. The new trail will intersect with six downtown streets across seven city blocks.
Goodnight compared the makeup of the city section of the trail to that of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and hopes it will serve as somewhat of a focal point of the city’s trails projects, featuring brick pavers, benches, decorative street lights and fencing and flower planter areas.
Other plans include concrete curbs, sidewalks, drive approaches, ADA-compliant ramps, decorative bollard lights and landscaping for the new multi-use trail suitable for walking, running and biking.
It will require installing an 8-foot-wide trail, enough for two-way traffic, separated from the street by a buffer of plants and concrete. A traditional sidewalk will continue to run parallel to it in front of the Howard County Courthouse between Sycamore and Walnut streets.