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  6. Bidding Begins On Monon South Trail

 

 

By Jeff Quyle, President, CEO, Radius Indiana

Contract Time!: Tuesday, June 4, at 10:00 we will open bids from contractors, and get our first idea of the actual cost to construct Phase 1 of the Monon South Trail.
We're very excited to see what the contractors expect to be paid for the 20 miles of asphalt and aggregate that is to be built over the next several months. Our process will be to open the bids on Tuesday, have the engineers evaluate them, and present them to the Southern Indiana Trailways Board on Friday, June 7, followed by presentation and final approval by the Radius Board on Wednesday, June 12. With the Board approval given, we'll sign a contract with the chosen bidder and begin preparing for construction to begin.
This contract is for the Trail itself only, and does not include the Trailheads. A separate contract is to be issued later this Summer for the Trailhead construction. We're still working on acquiring some of the property needed for the trailhead in Mitchell.

The cost of the Trail construction contract will have a big impact on the Trailheads however, as we have only a set amount of funds available. Depending on the cost of Trail construction, we may have to make adjustments to trail construction, or to trailhead construction, or to both. We have almost $24.5 million in grants (from DNR Next Level Trails and Uplands READI 1.0), plus a large chunk of Radius's own money, but we're already approaching $3 million in expenditures on soft costs and trailhead land acquisition.
Keep following our Facebook page for information on this process.

Groundbreaking: We hope to have a ceremonial groundbreaking in mid-July in Borden. We've asked the Town about the possibility to do so, and we hope to hear back soon.

Main Street Organization: Sadie Miskuf is now working with five communities that have asked to participate in our regional Main Street program. To help give these communities a boost in their first year of activity, Radius is offering a $1,000 matching grant to help with the expenses of activating their business districts. We're delighted to have five communities already participating!

Borden Strawberry Festival booth: On May 25 Sadie Miskuf and I participated in the Borden Strawberry Festival with a vendor's booth that offered trinkets, water bottles, and information about the Trail. We received an overwhelmingly positive response and many, many questions. With this first festival under our belts, we're available to participate in future similar events in communities along the Trail.

Mitchell volunteer trail cleanup: The folks in Mitchell outdid themselves on May 11 by lining up 15 volunteers to pick up trash along the Mitchell trail segment without even having a Trail yet! We really appreciate all the hours of labor that were donated. According to the volunteer management software we've acquired, we logged 48 hours of labor with an in-kind value of roughly $1,500. We'll be able to rely on in-kind labor value to provide our matching contribution for some future grants we'll apply for.

Invasives Survey of Phase 1: Kaila LaPlace of the State of Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management has begun examining our Phase 1 trail construction segments to help us map out invasive management plans. Unsurprisingly, Kaila has found lots of Japanese honeysuckle along the corridor, as well as crown vetch. On a positive note, she's also found some native hops growing. Does anyone want to open a brewery along the trail?

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