Tag: salem

Radius Indiana, design teams present the Monon South Trail Annual Report to the Communities

SALEM, Ind. (Feb. 2, 2024) — Leaders from southern Indiana gathered at the first “Monon South Annual Report to the Communities” hosted by Radius Indiana to learn about the latest developments in the creation of the Monon South Trail, slated to span nearly 60 miles through Lawrence, Orange, Washington, and Clark counties.

Through the state’s Next Level Trails program, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources awarded $23.4 million to Radius Indiana, the region’s economic development partnership, to facilitate the purchase and trail creation of a railbanked CSX railway corridor. Along with additional funding from the READI program, the design and initial construction of phase 1 of the trail began in 2023.

As part of the Annual Report, Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius, shared information on the projects and programs already in progress. To date, existing rail and crossties have been removed, road crossings have been improved, and the rail bed is being prepared for trail construction.

“We have seen a lot of progress during the first year of development for the Monon South and we are actively pursuing additional grant funding for phases 2 and 3,” said Quyle. “The engagement of our local leaders has been vital to our success, and this first report to the communities is a way to ensure that those leaders, who are our partners, supporters, and owners of this monumental project, continue to be involved and informed.”

Several initiatives to engage the communities along the trail are also underway. Cities and towns will be invited to participate in public art programs, which will add local touches to the trail corridor, and hundreds of residents have attended public meetings to give input on the design, location of trailheads, amenities, and sustainability of the trail. 

In addition, Radius partnered with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Land at Indiana University to develop park master plans to enhance and strengthen each community’s connectivity and engagement with the Monon South. In fall 2023, Radius launched a crowdfunding campaign, securing $50,000 to restore a historic boxcar located near the future trail in downtown Salem. And coming in 2024, Radius will work with downtowns connected to the trail to create the state’s first regional Mainstreet Program to encourage downtown revitalization and open opportunities for state funding and assistance.

Ryan Hughes from Clark Dietz, the lead civil engineering firm, and Ron Taylor from Taylor Seifker Williams Design Group, the trail’s design firm, gave a behind-the-scenes look at the Monon South’s infrastructure design, construction, and master planning efforts. Attendees had the first look at the initial design concepts for trailhead structures, bike and pedestrian rest stops, restrooms, and other amenities planned along the trail.

Orleans Clerk-Treasurer and Executive Director of the Orleans Chamber of Commerce Robert Henderson was in attendance and has been following the Monon South from its inception, “I am excited about all of the energy and effort being put in along the corridor. This event really showed all of the thought and detail that has gone into the work, and I appreciate Radius putting together this forum to allow us to stay up-to-date and engaged. I was interested to learn more about future funding and grant opportunities that will help bring the trail to life,” he added.

Radius plans to hold this event each year to share construction progress and new community developments for the Monon South. To learn more, visit www.mononsouth.com and follow Monon South Trail on Facebook


ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of the region to drive attraction, retention, and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Community excitement builds around Monon South Trail

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 13, 2023) – Large crowds totaling nearly 150 people attended Southern Indiana Trailways’s (SIT) public kick-off meetings in Orleans and Salem in late May and early June. The trail support organization and its partners invited community members to attend sessions to introduce them to the Monon South Trail project and involve them in the trail development process.

SIT, a nonprofit organization established by Radius Indiana to implement and manage the Monon South project, co-hosted the events along with its design partner Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group (TSW), and lead engineering firm Clark Dietz. These meetings allowed community members to learn about the development of the trail and provide feedback to the design team for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the longest recreational trail in Indiana. 

“It was great to see so many regional residents attend these meetings and provide thoughtful insight about the design and planning of the trail,” said Jeff Quyle, president of Radius. “This is a community-focused project to improve the quality of life and economy of our regional communities and we care about their questions and opinions.”

Andrea Ireland, project specialist for the National Park Service (NPS), presented to attendees in Orleans to provide insight into how she and NPS will be involved throughout the process and shared her excitement for the project. In March 2022, SIT applied to the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the NPS and received funding approval in May of that year. The grant is a non-cash grant that provides technical assistance and personnel to assist SIT as it develops the organizational capacity to lead community engagement with the Monon South Trail project.

Illustrating the economic potential that the Trail is expected to unleash, a Salem meeting attendee discussed becoming an entrepreneur while he shared his interest in starting a new business to cater to the needs of trail travelers. The meeting also introduced many attendees to Salem’s Depot Railroad Museum, whose presentation of Monon rail historical items and memorabilia evokes the glory of the railroad era in southern Indiana.

The project team was delighted by the turnout and excitement at the Monon South Trail public kickoff meetings. Engaging with the communities and future users of the trail will be a priority during the life of the project,” said Ryan Hughes, project engineer at Clark Dietz. “We were able to share more details about the design process and begin collecting ideas for how to build a trail that benefits all users.”

Community members will have a second opportunity to engage with the project later this month at the Monon South Community Workshops. These meetings will allow attendees to hear directly from TSW and discuss how each community connects to the trail, community desires for access and/or trailhead amenities, and a discussion on the preliminary design standards for the project.

Community Workshops are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, June 21 (Orleans)
    • Orleans Jr. and Sr. High School Cafeteria
    • 200 W. Wilson St. Orleans, IN 47452
    • 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 22 (Borden and New Pekin)
    • Borden Museum
    • 101 E. Main St. Borden, IN 47106
    • 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 28 (Mitchell)
    • Monon on Main Event Center
    • 515 W. Main St. Mitchell, IN 47446
    • 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 22 (Borden and New Pekin)
    • The Depot Railroad Museum (206 S. College Ave. Salem, IN 46167
    • 1 – 4 p.m.

For more information on the trail meetings or to view previous meeting presentations and digital design materials, visit www.southernindianatrailways.org