The City of Noblesville and the City of Fishers were selected as recipients of Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Next Level Trails grants.
Noblesville was awarded $3.1 million, and Fishers was awarded $4.5 million. The funds will be applied to increase connectivity between the cities by extending the Nickel Plate Trail north of 146th Street into Noblesville and south of 106th Street to the Fishers/Indianapolis border. The City of Indianapolis also received funds to begin constructing its portion of the trail.
In Noblesville, the funds will be used to complete the paved trail north from 146th Street to Pleasant Street in Noblesville.
“That is our leg of the trail to Pleasant Street, where it will connect to the Midland Trace Trail and the Riverwalk to downtown Noblesville,” Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen stated.
Construction on the Noblesville trail will begin early 2023 and will be completed later that year.
“We are really excited to continue the project from Fishers into downtown Noblesville,” Jensen said.
Fishers will contribute $460,000 in matching funds for a total project cost of $3.6 million.
“It’ll be a big cultural piece for us,” Jensen said. “The Nickel Plate rail line has a lot of historical significance, and our No. 1 goal is to get the infrastructure down and pavement down to connect the communities.”
Fishers received more than $4.5 million in funds and will contribute approximately $900,000 in matching funds. A majority of Fishers’ funds will be used to extend the trail south from 106th Street to 96th Street, including a pedestrian bridge over 96th Street. Funds also will be used to construct a connecting trail from the Berkley Grove neighborhood to the Nickel Plate Trail near 106th Street.
Any remaining funds will be used to activate the trail with amenities, such as benches, garbage cans, water fountains and dog waste stations.
When those items are funded, Fishers Director of Parks & Recreation Sarah Sandquist said the city will revert to the trail’s master plan to add trail enhancements, such as art installations and other amenities along the trail.
Fishers also submitted plans for a trail gap at 131st Street but it did not receive funds in this round of grant awards. Fishers Director of Engineering Jason Taylor said the city is already targeting other grants through the DNR to fund the gap.
Taylor hopes to start the design process in the next few months. He said construction could begin as early as spring 2023 and be completed in one construction season.
“We are extremely excited able to partner with Indianapolis and Noblesville and that the DNR recognized the importance of this regional connectivity,” Taylor said. “We are ready to move forward.”