In 1994, the City of Indianapolis received funding to convert a portion of the Monon Rail corridor into a multiple-use greenway. The Eppley Institute and a team of design consultants were hired to assist the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department in developing a plan for the creation of the 10.1 mile Monon Rail Trail.
To plan for and design the Monon Rail Trail, the Eppley Institute:
- Conducted a physical inventory of the site,
- Analyzed surrounding communities, demographics, land uses, and the project’s historical significance,
- Developed a public involvement process, and
- Identified and recordedd design standards and estimated costs for trail construction.
In 1999, Indy Parks and Greenways completed the construction of the Monon Rail Trail. It has since become a working part of the Indianapolis area’s extensive greenways and trails system, and it is estimated to serve over two million users a year. Most importantly, the Monon Rail Trail serves as a positive example of how other communities across the Midwest and the nation can transform outdated, unused rail systems into quality trails and greenways, while also supporting community health and resource protection/rehabilitation.