People Trail project begins: City officials start paperwork for updates to system

Columbus has begun the paperwork process for three large, federally funded projects that will link three mid-town Columbus parks through the People Trail system and also improve pedestrian safety on 25th Street.

On Tuesday, the city’s board of works approved project coordination contracts with the Indiana Department of Transportation, which are required before planning continues for the projects. The developments will be funded 90 percent by the federal government.

Dave Hayward, the city’s executive director of public works/city engineer, explained two of the projects involve extensions of Columbus’ People Trail. Phase 1 which will link Noblitt Park to Donner Park. Phase 2 will then link Donner Park to Lincoln Park on the People Trail, he said.

Each phase is estimated to cost $225,000 with all but 10 percent funded by the federal government, he said.

“This will be a great midtown connection for us,” Hayward said of the idea to link the three parks through the trail system.

He estimated it will take several years of planning and paperwork to get the project underway.

In addition to the People Trail expansion, board of works members also approved an INDOT coordination contract to improve pedestrian signals along 25th Street at the Home Avenue, Maple Street, Central Avenue and Taylor Road intersections.

Some of the intersections have outdated pedestrian signals that need to be upgraded and others lack any pedestrian signals, Hayward said. This project also is estimated at $225,000, with the federal government picking up 90 percent of the cost.

The board’s approval of the INDOT agreement gets the city in line for the federal funding for the project, Hayward said.

The signal project is also forecast to come about in the next three years or so, he said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.