The public is invited to a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting at the newly completed Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi at 1 p.m. (EDT) on September 6, when representatives of the City of Delphi, Indiana Landmarks, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will formally dedicate the 1.5-mile trail.
The former rail corridor became an unofficial trail after it was vacated by CSX Transportation in the late 1980s, though the historic Monon High Bridge, the trail’s namesake, had been a de facto pedestrian bridge since its construction in 1891. The idea of integrating the Monon High Bridge and rail corridor into a community trail originated in the late 1990s but didn’t gain significant traction until 2012, when Indiana Landmarks and local preservation partners Heartland Heritage, Inc. and Delphi Preservation Society initiated formal negotiations with CSX.
In 2017, CSX transferred the bridge and nearly half a mile of approach to Indiana Landmarks, which immediately began stabilization and repair to a severely damaged support pier. North Central Health Services granted an additional $248,000 to install decking and railing on the west quarter of the bridge to allow for safe pedestrian use.
Following COVID-related delays, the new prefabricated decking and custom steel railing system were installed in 2022. “The Monon High Bridge is now safely accessible to the public, offering breathtaking views of the Deer Creek Valley from the landmark span,” says Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office.
The City of Delphi received a $1.25 million grant from the State of Indiana’s Next Level Trails program, administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, to develop an ADA compliant pedestrian and bicycle trail from the east edge of the city to the Monon High Bridge, including a new trailhead and parking area, paving, and installation of lighting, trail cameras, and information kiosks.
“This stunning trail connects heritage sites such as the Centennial and Bicentennial monuments with the repurposed Freedom Bridge over SR 25 to the Veterans Memorial Plaza with its massive Monon train engine etched in granite, then onward to the iconic High Bridge overlooking Deer Creek,” says Delphi Mayor Anita Werling.
Additional funding support for the trail and bridge rehabilitation project was provided by CSX Transportation, Deer Creek Township, the Efroymson Family Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the Indiana Trails Fund.
WHAT: Monon High Bridge Trail dedication
WHEN: Wednesday, September 6 at 1 p.m. (EDT)
Remarks by Anita Werling, mayor of Delphi; Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks; Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks Western Regional Office; Chris Smith, deputy director at Indiana Department of Natural Resources; and Bonnie Maxwell representing Heartland Heritage Inc.
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Plaza at Freedom Bridge in Delphi, Indiana
Event parking will be at Miller Park, 1511 Old Camden Road, Delphi, and Bison Plaza parking off W 300 N (just north of the Monon viaduct.) Trail transportation will be provided for those with mobility needs. In the event of rain, the dedication will be held at the Wabash & Erie Canal Center, 1030 N. Washington Street.
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Anita Werling, Mayor, City of Delphi, 765-564-2097, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommy Kleckner, Western Regional Office Director, Indiana Landmarks 812-232-4534, email@example.com
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