This 2.7-mile-long bicycle/pedestrian trail links the campus of the University of Southern Indiana (USI) with the county-owned Burdette Park. The trail provides alternative transportation options to USI students and faculty as well as adding to the recreational opportunities at Burdette Park. This rural area of rolling hills makes an aesthetically pleasing setting for this recreational trail but provides unique challenges for design and construction.
Lochmueller Group, Inc. (Lochmueller) was initially retained to conduct a corridor feasibility study to investigate, define, and evaluate various alternative alignments for the proposed trail. Alternate routes were developed, along with associated costs for each route. Based on available funding, the corridor was redesigned, lowering the projected cost by $500,000. Options were also developed and presented with the cost evaluation to assist with funding issues. Logical points of termini for the trail were addressed to improve accessibility and utilization. Specifically, the trail was incorporated into the campus core and the adjoining site improvements were reworked to clear the way for the proposed trail.
Design parameters for the final alignment were based on key criteria that included site inspection, AASHTO bicycle standards and ADA requirements for funding, topographical constraints, safety, land use, consideration of environmental impacts and permitting issues, location on county-owned properties to reduce land purchase, and overall aesthetics. The final design included extensive use of retaining walls to limit the width of the trail, to meet ADA criteria, and to preserve and protect woodland and natural areas.
Once the preferred corridor was selected, Lochmueller began the phased design. The final phase opened in 2011. In 2008, the trail was among 24 trails in 16 states to be designated as a National Recreation Trail.