News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 14, 2014

Students bring bike/jogging park idea to board

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Board of Public Works and Safety on Monday got a glimpse at an idea for a natural-terrain mountain bike, hiking and jogging park on Terre Haute’s east side.

The city owns more than 70 acres of property east of the Fort Harrison Industrial Park. The property is hilly and well-suited for 3.2 miles of unpaved biking, hiking or jogging trails and another 1.7 miles of trails that would be accessible to people with disabilities, according to a team of Rose-Hulman engineering seniors, who presented their concept in City Hall.

If completed, the park would become a major destination for mountain bike enthusiasts around the state, said Pat Martin, city planner and liaison between the City and the Rose students. The students estimate the park’s construction would cost $612,000. That does not include cleanup of the site, funds for which would likely come from state and federal sources, Martin said.

The property currently contains coal cinders, discarded telephone poles and related equipment and has been used for illegal residential dumping, the students told the board. There is also a wetland on the property, which would be preserved, according to the proposed plans.

The park could be accessible from Fruitridge Avenue, the National Road Heritage Trail or from Mill Creek Park, the students told the board.

The next step is for city officials, including Mayor Duke Bennett, to discuss the proposal further, Martin said.

Board members applauded the students for their work, which was a Senior Civil Engineering Design Class project. The students, David Baumgartner, Calvin Bush, Reid Cepa and Mickey Tosti, worked on the project for a year, they said.