SKA has been working with the B&O Trail Association since 1996, helping to secure more than $6 million in funding, and providing planning, environmental studies, trail design and experiential graphics and identity systems. Founding members of the B&O Trail Association (BOTA) were pioneers in the Rails-to-Trails movement, participating in landmark court cases that clarified the arcane legal issues of rail corridor ownership, doggedly pursuing scarce funding sources for acquisition and construction, and patiently convincing hostile landowners that trails are a benefit to them and the larger community. BOTA is an independent, not-for-profit volunteer organization, that is not affiliated with any governmental agency.
The B&O Rail Trail reached the six-mile mark in 2017 of open, paved trail, as it progresses across Hendricks County. Utilizing the acquired former CSX railroad corridor, a magnificent twin-span weathering steel truss bridge over White Lick Creek highlights the most recently completed section, which incorporates two new trailheads with parking, one of which will serve equestrians.
The Hendricks County section of the paved portion of B&O Trail begins at the Marion County line at Raceway Road on the east and ends at County Road 500 East in the former railroad hamlet of Tilden. It is slated to continue westward through Putnam and Parke Counties to end at the Illinois state line in Montezuma, Indiana. The Town of Speedway and City of Indianapolis are planning extensions that will connect the Hendricks County sections to downtown Indianapolis. When completed the trail will serve more than 44,000 households within one mile of the trail, and add 250 plus acres of recreational green space to West Central Indiana, serving pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians.
The B&O Trail was designated a Priority Visionary Trail in the 2006 Indiana State Trails, Greenways & Bikeways Plan “Hoosiers on the Move”.
When completed, the Hendricks County section will be nineteen and one-half miles long, and will be a key component of the proposed 65-mile-long trail from Indianapolis to Montezuma, Indiana. Land acquisition is complete for the 19-mile corridor in Hendricks County with only about one-half mile left to purchase (as of January 2018). Future extensions will link to the Indianapolis Greenways network at Speedway, Eagle Creek Trail, White River Trail and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The Hendricks County section has generated multiple local trail connections expanding its reach and connectivity.
Department of Natural Resources
Assisted BOTA with property acquisition funding and Phase 1 Trail construction.
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)
Provided BOTA funding through multiple phases of construction and the majority of funds needed for land acquisition.
Hendricks County Commissioners
Assisted BOTA with administering INDOT funds and technical support with trail design and construction.
Storrow Kinsella Associates: landscape architecture, trail and amenity design
Crossroad Engineers, PC: engineering
Indiana Greenways Foundation award: 2012 outstanding trail project in Indiana.