Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway
BEDFORD – The Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway, marked the opening of its first three phases with a ribbon cutting officiated by Mayor Shawna Girgis Friday, October 3, 2014 at the U Street trail entrance.
The new walk- and bikeway has seen more than 100 visitors a day since June, when volunteers completed work to ready the first five and a half miles of the former railroad right-of-way. The newly opened phases of the trail originate at Lincoln Avenue and travel west to Coxton Road near Williams in rural Lawrence County.
An effort to build a trail on the former Monon Railroad corridor approximately 20 years ago between Bloomington and Bedford, left in its wake the demise of what reviewers called “the most scenic trail in the Midwest.” This new trail has opened a more tangible and equally admirable option for Bedford and Lawrence County with anticipated future extension to Indian Springs in Martin County .
The trail began as a visionary project of the Indiana Trails Fund Inc., which for the first time in its 18-year history negotiated a license to develop a trail instead of an outright purchase of a trail corridor. The invitation of forward-thinking Mayor Girgis, launched the physical development of the rails-to-trails project.
From M Street, visitors can pass by Spider Creek to the Shawswick area and Salt Creek bridge, and along the way can enjoy limestone bluffs, tree canopies, scenic waterways, and a variety of wildlife.
In a year and a half, an eroded, ballast-covered rail bed has emerged as an inviting nearly six-mile trail. Area volunteers, with help from City of Bedford personnel and personally invested contractors, have made the transformation possible, clearing brush and debris, renovating and decking 17 bridges, construction and installing bridge side rails and rebuilding erosion areas.
Article by Mario Vian