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Approximately 400' of sidewalk and bridges could be constructed if a grant request is fulfilled by the Indiana Department of Tourism.

Residents living in Admirals Bay, Treasure Pointe, and Cardinal Woods know the dangers of trying to walk, bike, or run along Carroll Road just south of 96th Street. A sidewalk from the Hamptons at Geist dead ends just across from Cardinal Drive, leaving pedestrians to fend for themselves for approximately 400’ of curved, heavily wooded, shoulderless roadway until they reach Treasure Pointe.

Several residents have sent emails or stopped me at Mama Bears to see what can be done about this stretch of road. Putting in a sidewalk couldn’t be that hard. However, after some research, I found out that this small stretch of road is actually in Hancock County and falls under the jurisdiction of the the Town of McCordsville. In addition, the terrain is not flat, has at least a 12’ change in elevation, and will require two and possibly as many as four bridges to span ravines and ditches.

A sidewalk in front of the Hampton Cove near the Indianapolis Yacht Club dead ends onto Carroll Road, leaving pedestrians to fend for themselves along a curvy, shoulderless Carroll Road.

Last spring, I attended a Town of McCordsville Public Works Committee meeting to talk about this project. The board was very receptive to the idea of building a sidewalk, unfortunately their budget for such projects was already spoken for. A few weeks later, Mark Witsman and Ron Crider from the committee followed up with an on-site visit to survey the situation. Based on the elevation change and complexity of the terrain, they recommended getting an engineering design study completed. This blueprint would give contractors, and the Town of McCordsville, a better idea of the design and costs to build this sidewalk.

Geist Harbours Property Owners Association (“GHPOA”), the homeowners association that encompasses Treasure Pointe, Admirals Bay, and 11 other neighborhoods around the south end of the reservoir, has wanted to get behind this project for a long time. Their 2,380 homes would all benefit from this sidewalk, creating a trail system that would connect over 95% of the circumference of Geist Reservoir.

Last spring, the GHPOA board earmarked $10,000 to be used on this sidewalk project. Bids were solicited for the engineering design study and the average price tag came in around $20,000. I for one did not want the GHPOA to go into this project alone. The project has been at a stalemate since last spring, until I got a phone call from McCordsville’s Town Manager, Tonya Galbraith.

In fear of being struck by oncoming traffic, pedestrians have cut a path down to Treasure Point Drive. To the right you can see the old guardrail that is inches away from the road.

“We’re looking for a partner organization to apply for a Place Based Investment Fund grant to get that Carroll Road sidewalk built,” she said.

At stake is a matching grant from the Indiana Department of Tourism for up to $50,000 to fund “efforts by Indiana communities to become even greater places to visit, live and work.” The Town of McCordsville and GHPOA will commit $50,000 towards the project, the Indiana Department of Tourism matches that $50,000 to give the project $100,000 for completion.

GHPOA voted to commit their $10,000, the Town of McCordsville committed $40,000, and the application was submitted on April 13. The Indiana Department of Tourism will be making their decisions on April 23, so keep your fingers crossed!

A big “thank you” to Tonya Galbraith who sought this grant out and pulled all the necessary paperwork together to make the application. At the end of the day, all Geist residents around the reservoir will benefit by having a safe sidewalk connecting the Fall Creek Road bridge to the neighborhoods to the south and east.

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