KOKOMO, Indiana — Work could begin this spring on a project to extend a trail that already takes walkers past some of Kokomo's historic industrial sites into the city's downtown area.
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said he hopes the new segment of the 3-mile Industrial Heritage Trail will become a focal point for the north-central Indiana city's other biking and walking trails, which currently cover about 46 miles.
Construction work on the new, one-third mile segment could start as early as April, with the city's Board of Public Works and Safety receiving bids on the project until Feb. 26.
City development specialist David Tharp said the new section of the trail will cost about $600,000. Once two additional segments of the industrial trail are completed in a couple of years, that trail will be linked with the 40-mile Nickel Plate Trail, which currently runs from Cassville just north of Kokomo to Rochester.
Goodnight said linking the two trails will allow users to pass through rural, residential and industrial settings as they cross through Howard County and enter Kokomo.
"It's got all of these different elements to it, and that's what you want," he told the Kokomo Tribune (http://bit.ly/1f9NjMS ). "You want different sections of the trail. You don't want it to be all cookie-cutter along the path."
Goodnight said the industrial trail's new portion will be similar to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and feature paved brick sections, benches, decorative street lights, fencing and flower planters.
The existing portion of the industrial trail runs past some of Kokomo's earliest automotive plants, some of which now house other businesses, and also takes users past the city's Chrysler Casting Plant.
Tharp said the new section will run just east of the city's historic train depot and pass the west side of the Howard County Courthouse.
Information from: Kokomo Tribune, http://www.ktonline.com