Muncie, IN —The City of Muncie, in its continued commitment to revitalize the brownfield area in and around the former King Forge and Indiana Steel and Wire sites, has signed an agreement with HWC Engineering, Inc. for the next level of design and engineering of the Kitselman Trailhead area.
State Road 32 — East Jackson Street is a major gateway into the City of Muncie. The current car counts show that this entrance is the second highest vehicular volume road into the City at approximately 14,000 cars a day.
“The traffic volume alone speaks to the importance of re-energizing this area of Muncie. There are about 5000 to 6000 people driving to work at Ball State, Ball Hospital and Downtown that use this city entrance daily,” said Mayor Tyler. He continued by saying, “The abandoned wastelands from the former, once vital factories in this area are a scar in the eye of anyone using this entrance to Muncie. To be able to bring new life to this area by boosting the quality of life by building trail, a trailhead and safe access to the White River is a celebration of some of the City’s best regional destination attractions: White River and the Greenways.”
The HWC contract includes 50% design of the entire trailhead area and 100% construction plans of phase 2 of the Kitselman Trailhead area. HWC is already contracted for the engineering of the restoration and placement of the to be relocated Albany Bridge. The historic Albany Bridge relocation is phase 1 of the Kitselman Trailhead. The second HWC contract includes all environmental and historical reviews of the brownfield sites, a feasibility study for realigning Bunch Boulevard at the Gavin Street railroad underpass to determine if the road can be lowered to allow truck traffic on Bunch Blvd, and it includes the landscape architectural design of the features of the Kitselman Gateway. HWC Engineering will be collaborating with LAND COLLECTIVE, a Landscape Architectural firm out of Philadelphia that they partnered with during the creation of the current Kitselman Gateway Master Plan.
Three other sub-consultants providing survey, design tasks, geotechnical investigation, and environmental services complete the design team as a part of the contract.
“Cardinal Greenway and the Community Enhancement Projects, Inc. have been working on this vision for over 20 years. To see the broad-based collaboration that has emerged to rally behind the Kitselman Trailhead is a great testament to the City of Muncie and the East Central Indiana Region’s understanding that quality of place is an economic engine that retains and attracts people. The City of Muncie has so many wonderful things to offer, our trail system is consistently one of the top 5,” said Angie Pool, Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Greenways.
The Kitselman Pure Energy Park (KPEP), the development on the former Indiana Steel and Wire site which is next to the Kitselman Trailhead continues to advance. “Work remains on target to begin this year”, said Gary Dannar of KPEP. “We have already removed many abandoned homes. The next step will be to fill the site so that we can breathe new life into the blight with new roads, buildings and landscaping. The Kitselman Trailhead improvement is the main attractor to a development like ours.”
The contract amount for the HWC team is for $792,192. Federal funds, administered through INDOT, will provide up to 80% of the cost of the design contract. The Kitselman Trailhead area is a multi-year, multi partnership project. The project will take up to 5 years to implement.
Mayor Dennis Tyler said, “The cooperation and collaborative effort of all the organizations involved in this major rehabilitation project is a positive demonstration of how Muncie works as a team. KPEP is expected to be moving dirt this year. INDOT is on schedule to rebuild the East Jackson Street Bridge beginning next spring. The relocated historic Albany Bridge is on schedule to be installed at the Kitselman Trailhead next summer. The east side of Kitselman Trailhead area is on schedule to be constructed in 2018. The City of Muncie Kitselman Gateway is much more than a dream.”