Herald-Times staff graphic
Herald-Times staff graphic
County officials plan to use $2.3 million in state dollars to complete the Karst Farm Greenway by 2022 — if not sooner.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the grant money for Monroe County and other communities’ trail improvements through the Next Level Trails Grant last week. Monroe County Parks and Recreation Department director Kelli Witmer said the money will be used to extend the Karst Farm Greenway an additional 2.8 miles from the Loesch Road trailhead to near Hartstrait Road and Ind. 46 in Ellettsville.

That section of the greenway is the final section that needs to be constructed in order to have a more than 6-mile-long trail connecting Ellettsville to Karst Farm Park, according to Witmer.

“We are getting very close to being connected,” Witmer said.

Trail construction between Loesch Road and Ellettsville will be similar to other sections of the greenway, which are currently paved. Witmer said while state funds help move the project forward, the county is also putting in $1.3 million of its own money to cover projected costs.

At around $3.6 million, Witmer said completing this section of the greenway is shaping up to be the costliest of the overall project. Monroe County Council member Geoff McKim said this is in part due to some “tricky engineering” that has to take place to complete it.

Witmer said work includes constructing two pedestrian bridges and crossing an active railroad. She said building a trail to cross an active railroad alone could cost around $450,000. Also, reconstructing former railroad bridges for pedestrian use can be costly. The county has already spent a little more than $469,000 to reconstruct three former railroad bridges for pedestrian use in the area. Money for those bridges came from general obligation bonds the county issued.

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