NICKEL PLATE TRAIL UPDATE

Visit the Nickel Plate website at www.nickelplatetrail.org

 

 

 

8/20/08

 

The trail has been completed from Cassville to Peru!

All reports have been very enthusiastic about the quality & beauty of this trail.  IT has even been reported that we are seeing "converts" from the Monon trail making their way north just to ride the Nickel Plate.

 

 

7/20/08

Friends and Builders of Trails,
 
July 14-18 was a very productive week on the Nickel Plate Trail.  Volunteers from Bunker Hill, Miami, Peru, Cassville, Walton, Bennett Switch and Kokomo were assisted by the inmate work crew from Miami Correctional as well as Bunker Hill City workers.
 
Special thanks go out to Trail Supervisor, Harry Denham, for providing all his equipment including dump truck, backhoe, and grader.  This week Jack Clem and Ryan Oglesby gave the trail a big boost by providing and operating their backhoe, tractor, and industrial wood chipper.
 
The north and south approaches to Bunker Hill are now cleared and graded and our paving contractor should be arriving next week to make final preparations for paving.  On Thursday our team moved to Bennett Switch and began final trail clearing and cutting south to Cassville.  Jack used his backhoe to contour a hillside in Bunker Hill and fix the approaches to 1350S.  Friday we completed our chainsaw work and began chipping all the debris.  Harry began grading as our chipping team headed south.  We hit a few trail bumps at the end of a very successful day.  About 2:00 the drive chain on the grader broke and about the same time the chipper ran out of fuel (it drank 30 gallons of biodiesel)!  By that time we were all about out of fuel and on the verge of breakdown ourselves so we decided to call it a day and take the grader back to Harry's shop for repair.
 
We had already decided to stop at Bertie's Tavern, located on the trail in Bunker Hill to celebrate the completion of our clearing and grading work in that trail side community. Conveniently Bertie's is right on the way back to Harry's!
 
The owners of Bertie's are very excited about what this trail is going to do for all the residents and businesses located in proximity to the trail.  Wendy told us that she has been wanting to volunteer for the trail but past workday sessions have conflicted with her schedule as a manager at Walmart.  Wendy wants to work with us and organize a team of Walmart employees to come out and volunteer on the trail.  The good new is that Walmart has a program where each employee can volunteer for a group like ours and earn up to $250 for that organization per employee, so we plan to do just that!
 
More good news is that after a cold beer and pizza (the deluxe pizza at Bertie's is awesome!), we got the grader back to Harry's, tore into it and found the problem to be a broken link on the drive chain, which Harry was able to fix on Saturday.
 
Next week Harry will finish grading to Cassville and we will move our trail clearing team to Denver and start working with NPT VP, Bill Click, clearing the approaches to the Eel River Bridge which spans 310 feet.  I have never seen this river valley section of the trail but I have been on the trail as it exits the Wabash River Valley heading north to Denver through beautiful woods so I don't have to see it to know that it will be another special place on this destination trail. 
 
The Nickel Plate Trail bridge building team is excited to tackle our most ambitious bridge project yet.  As we build this trail and it's bridges we are also building relationships with communities and people from all walks of life.  I am not sure which is more rewarding but I thank God each morning for the opportunity we have before us.
 
Have a great weekend and I hope to see you on the trail soon!
 
Charlie Skoog
 

7/10/08

Friends of Trails,
 
The beautiful bridges that span Pipe Creek and Little Deer Creek are now completed.  Our volunteer team is now doing the final clearing and grading of 6.5 miles of trail that will soon be paved and connect Cassville and Howard County to the Wabash River with a continuous 13.5 mile trail..  On Saturday, July 12, Governor Daniels will be coming to inspect our work, dedicate the Pipe Creek Bridge, and present the Friends of the Nickel Plate a check for $900,000 to continue our work.  We appreciate Governor Daniels support of trails and greenways in Indiana.
 
Thanks all,
 
Charlie Skoog
 

6/24/08

Friends of Trails,
 
Today we poured the middle section of the Cassville Bridge over Little Deer Creek.  Tomorrow we will meet at the bridge at 9 am to form up the south section and be ready to pour the remaining sections of the bridge weather permitting.  We still have quite a bit of trail clearing and widening to do on the north approach from 1350S to the bridge.  Once all the rebar is set we will either pour or clear trail with Mother Nature helping to determine our optimal course of action.
 
Thanks all,
 
Charlie Skoog
 

6/23/08

Friends of Trails,
 
 I am happy to report that the 200 foot bridge spanning Pipe Creek just north of Bunker Hill was completed on June 13.  The following week we began construction work on the 66 foot bridge that spans Little Deer Creek just north of Cassville.  See pictures below.  We plan to pour the middle section of this bridge on June 24 and hope to finish paving the bridge and it's approaches the first week of July.  Volunteers are always needed as we prepare the trail for paving which will occur later this summer.  Call (765) 457-2607 or runckrr@aol.com to help.  I would especially like to thank BBC members Tim Buckalew and Greg Townsend who have been working on the bridges almost every weekday for the past several weeks.  To see Tim and Greg at work visit the Nickel Plate Trail link Larry has created at www.kokomoschwinn.com.  As Breakaway members we are all invited to a special ceremony dedicating the Pipe Creek bridge on July 12.  We will be recognized as major donors ($2,000) and since Governor Daniels recently awarded the NPT $900,000, he has been invited as well.  Below is an invitation from Joan Smith.  I hope to have final details at the Club Meeting on June 30 and will post on the message board.

Hi all,  I would like to have the grand opening for the bridge on July 12.  It’s a Saturday, and I want to have  the Breakaway Bicycle Club, the Wheel People Bicycle Club, and the Circus City Bicycle Club come out to be the ceremonial ‘first” ones to cross the bridge.  I also want to have plaques made to present to our large donors ($250 or more); there are seven of them.  Mike, I know they wanted to present the big ($900,000) check soon, but if you could coordinate the presentation of it for the same time, that would be great. If Governor Daniels would like to cut the ribbon that would be great too.   I also want all those volunteers who worked so hard to complete the bridge to come out for a group picture, and give special thanks to Harry Denham who designed a beautiful bridge. 

 Joan Smith

 

6/20/08

Friends of Trails,
 

The paving of the bridge at Pipe Creek is completed.

Below are pictures of the 200 foot Pipe Creek bridge we finished last week.  The Bridge in Cassville will be completed and paved in the next few weeks, all done with volunteer labor.  We will also have volunteers working in the coming weeks to complete the clearing and grading of over 6.5 miles of the trail which will be paved this summer. 
 

5/14/08

Friends of Trails,
 

The paving of the bridge at Pipe Creek is well underway.

5/14/08

5/10/08

Friends of Trails,
 
Thanks to all the organizations and the 30 plus volunteers that participated in a highly successful work day that was held Saturday, May 10th.  Over one mile of trail was cleared on both the North and south approaches to the 200 foot bridge under construction that spans beautiful Pipe Creek.  This was necessary as the all volunteer, bridge construction team, led by Trail Supervisor, Harry Denham, plan to pour the first 50 feet of bridge decking on this coming Monday.  What a year ago was a 3 foot wide, briar filled path, is now wide enough for the cement truck and the asphalt paving equipment that is soon to follow.  Volunteers also filled to overflowing a large dumpster (donated by our friends at Waste Management) with trash accumulated over decades of neglect.
 
Participating in and sponsoring this work day were the Friends of the Nickel Plate, Breakaway Bicycle Club, the Wildcat Guardians Chainsaw Team, and Club Kokomo Roadrunners.  We all would like to thank the Kokomo Tribune, Kokomo Perspective, WWKI, and other local media for their support of trails and greenways and advertising this event bringing out several new volunteers.  We would also like to thank Pastor Strong and the Bunker Hill United Methodist Church for providing their fellowship hall as a meeting place for thanksgiving and a late lunch when all the work was completed.
 
NPT President, Mike Kuepper, gave the volunteers an update with the awesome news that a $250,000 check from the Lilly Foundation, will be placed in our account in the coming weeks that will fund completing the paved trail from Miami to Cassville in Howard County.  All indications are that the South end of the NPT will be completely paved from the Wabash River to Howard County by the fall of this year.
 
Thanks to all the fantastic volunteers who have made the NPT vision a soon to be reality that will benefit all and connect our communities with a world class linear park.  For more information on future volunteer opportunities please call (765) 457-2607 or email runckrr@aol.com.  This trail will be built but not without your continued support and help!
 
See ya on the trail!
 
Charlie Skoog
NPT - South Trail - Volunteer Recruiter

 

5/10/08
 

 

4/28/08

Friends of the Nickel Plate Trail,
 
Below are pictures of the first 50 foot section of the 200 foot span bridge that was designed by Harry Denham and approved by INDOT.  Since INDOT allowed us to remove this bridge from the TE grant we are able to do the work ourselves which saves big bucks and we no longer have to wait, wait, wait, wait on INDOT.  The cost of materials for this bridge will be $11-12,000 and a sizable amount of that funding came from Breakaway Bicycle Club so the Friends of the NPT thank many of you all for that.
 
Last Tuesday in Harry's workshop a team of 4 volunteers led by Harry, fabricated 15 of the floor joists which will support the side rails as well as the concrete floor of the bridge.  On Wednesday we trucked the assemblies to the South end of the bridge and after removing the cross member ties (great workout!) we attached them to the bridge.  On Thursday work continued on the siderails and floor.
 
Harry's plan is to construct the bridge in four sections.  Next we will fabricate the North 50 foot section.  That work will begin tomorrow, back in Harry's workshop.  After we complete the North section we will pour the South section and then the North section.  When we are done with the North section we will then be able to drive out on the South section to access and assemble the South center section, and finally the North center section.
 
At the present time all of this work is being done on weekdays during the day 9-3 PM because that fits Harry's schedule.  If you, or you know someone that can work during these times and is physically able, please give me a call or email.  This is a great project that we are all proud to be part of.
 
We are planning a trail workday on Saturday, May 10, from 9-3 PM for those who can't work on weekdays but would like to get involved.  There is much trail clearing that remains to be done, trash to be picked up, etc. to get ready for paving which will occur later this year.  Please share this email invitation with likeminded friends and acquaintances
 
If you are not already on my contact list to get volunteer opportunity emails but would like to be added please respond.
 
Thanks all and hope to see ya on the trail!
 
Charlie Skoog

 

4/28/08