CITY OF KOKOMO
The edges of downtown Kokomo — including the banks of the Wildcat Creek — are receiving the city’s attention this summer, as more than $2 million is slated for streetscape and quality of life projects in the near downtown area.
The biggest of the projects will connect the city’s two main trails at a spot on the south side of the Wildcat, just next to the old Buckeye Street railroad trestle. The $1.2 million trailhead project is being complemented by a public/private partnership between local restaurateur Mike Lucas and the city, with the city obtaining an old property near the creek, and giving it to Lucas, who is spending big money turning it into a family restaurant.
Downtown streetscape work, already complete in the downtown core near the Howard County Courthouse, will spread to the perimeter of downtown, and the city is getting federal grant money to install 75 “Wayfarer” guidepost signs, to help newcomers and visitors navigate the community.
The streetscape work includes a new entrance to the old Memorial Gym swimming pool building. The pool is gone, replaced with what will be Indiana University Kokomo’s new home court for basketball and volleyball.
“It’s no different than what we’ve done in previous years,” Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Friday. “We’re trying to connect the community. The trailhead and the new bridge took care of the last bottleneck on the trails, and Apperson [Way and Superior Street] is one of the biggest tourist destinations, if you figure all of the people who come here for volleyball and basketball. You add in IUK, and that’s the reason for the cleanup.”
Apperson Way and Superior Street Streetscape Project
• Scope – Installing curb island, lighting, and landscaping on Apperson between Wildcat Creek and Union, Apperson between Jefferson and Madison, and Superior between Union and Purdum
• Bid - $397,147.21
• Timing – Apperson completed in May. Superior to be completed by Aug. 1
• Impacts – Closure of Superior between Union and Apperson in July