In a press release, the City of Carmel announced the ground breaking on a major widening and expansion of the popular Monon Greenway through the heart of Midtown and the Arts & Design District. The new Monon Boulevard project will transform the current 12-foot wide path into a multi-faceted 140-foot wide right-of-way section that will include new dedicated lanes for cycling, buffer zones, sidewalks, green spaces, one-way streets with additional parking on either side of the trail and a new Midtown Plaza at 4th Street SW near the Allied Solutions corporate headquarters and the new Sun King Distillery, both of which are already under construction.
“This City project is the culmination of years of planning and responding to the needs expressed by our residents who have wanted a vibrant, walkable downtown with many different options for buying a home, renting an apartment, working within a short walk or bike ride to their office, shopping at unique stores and dining at local restaurants,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “This expansion of the Monon Greenway will become Carmel’s version of beach-front property and is already producing a great deal of interest from the business community and local developers.”
The expanded trail will serve the rapidly growing Midtown redevelopment area where the city is partnering with private developers to create a new corridor connecting our City Center and Arts & Design redevelopment districts, which will include a mix of offices, restaurants, retail and residential units in what was once the city’s primary industrial area.
The project is also eagerly anticipated by trail users who have voiced their concerns about congestion in this area. An average of 300,000-plus run, walk or bike on this stretch of the Monon Greenway from Main Street south to the Palladium each year, making it one of the most congested stretches of the trail in Carmel. The new project will separate those who are on the trail for leisure and those who are seeking rigorous physical activity.
In addition, the plans call for neighborhood green spaces, additional trees, arts plazas, community benches, kiosks, spray plaza, bocce ball court, connections to popular destinations and the Midtown Plaza that will feature bicycle parking, public art, outdoor café spaces and other features.
Work will begin immediately and is expected to take about 18 months to complete. The estimated cost of the Monon Boulevard and Midtown Plaza projects ranges from $20 million to $23 million, which will come from a variety of sources including bonds and developer commitments. The Monon Greenway will remain open during construction.