Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cultural Trail $13 Million Short

The costs of Indianapolis' downtown cultural trail have skyrocketed, now approaching $55 million. Over $28 million of the costs have been absorbed by private donations, including a $15 million donation from Gene and Marilyn Glick. A federal transportation grant has provided another $14.4 million of the funding to date. Another $13 million, however, is needed to complete the project as envisioned in time for the Super Bowl in 2012 according to a WRTV report. As a downtown resident, I enjoy the benefits that the cultural trail brings to my neighborhood, but it does seem a bit extravagant. I know some businesses along Mass Avenue are extremely upset at the disruption of traffic the drawn-out project has caused and the resulting loss of business. It will be a great boon to them when it's completed, if they can survive that long. The amenities it offers are very nice, but the cost of maintaining it once it is completed could prove problematic in future years.


Downtown Indy said...

They really dragged their feet on the Alabama segment. I don't know why that took so long.

The whole thing seems 'ok' but I don't know why it's so damn expensive.

The colorful crosswalk stuff is getting coated with tire marks and oil so it won't hold up very long, I am afraid.

And I wonder if we won't regret having trimmed the width of Alabama St one of these days?

Paul K. Ogden said...

I have to admit, I don't really understand the "cultural trail." It looks like a very nice and wide sidewalk. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't know why it would be so expensive.

Citizen Kane said...

Gee, surprise, surprise. When this was first announced, it was to be totally privately funded. Then federal money was added to the pot and there is still a shortfall. By next year, the shortfall will probably be 20 million. Considering that costs of most materials have declined since the phony economy imploded, imagine how big the shortfall would be if the phony economy was still blazing.

Downtown Indy said...

Looking back, the early news articles stated $50 million as the expected total cost. So 5 extra is not huge.

Presumbably, they budgeted for a lot more donations than they have actually gotten. Kind of like they did with the $1.7M public safety grant.

artfuggins said...

It looks great and will add to the quality of life for those of us who live downtown and our visitors. For the life of me, I can't understand why it keeps dragging on and on and on......get it done.