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$2 million INDOT grant will connect Sullivan with Sullivan County Park and Lake



A map shows the proposed route extending the city of Sullivan Greenway System about 1.5 miles along East Washington Street, north on Stewart Street, then east on Leach Street to Sullivan County Park and Lake. This is being funded through a $2 million grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation which will occur in fiscal year 2024.

The reality of the city of Sullivan making a connection with Sullivan County Park and Lake occurred in February.

But the news was not made public until Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb made it official — the city is extending its Sullivan Greenway System to the east — during the community-wide forum Project IMPACT Main Street with Ball State University on Tuesday.

This project is earmarked for fiscal year 2024, with letting of bids set for 2023.

Lamb pointed out this vision actually had its roots in a 1980 study, which coincidentally also included the participation of Ball State.

“One of the recommendations from 1980 under Mayor Bill Donnelly's administration was to institute a study to seek funds for a program that will strengthen the link between downtown and Sullivan County Park and Lake to provide for a safe means of travel for both adults and children,” Lamb said.

“So essentially the Indiana Department of Transportation has made this recommendation a reality. We were awarded in February, $2 million, to be able to continue the Sullivan Greenway System. You've already seen it in the downtown area.

“(INDOT) came last year and awarded the city just under $1 million to extend that trail system down to the Sullivan County Public Library. And now INDOT once again has come back and awarded us another $2 million to now connect the Sullivan County Park and Lake.”

Lamb noted the Park and Lake has over 2,000 “residents” with disposable incomes contiguous to the city limits.

“So essentially we have a city right next to a city,” the mayor said. “Our goal and thanks to the partnership with INDOT is to get those folks from Sullivan County Park and Lake and spending those dollars in our downtown area.”

This sidewalk/path route will extend along from downtown on East Washington Street, go over the CSX Railroad tracks, connect to a new private park being privately developed by Flaherty & Collins, then north on Stewart Street to Sullivan Manor and close to Parkview Terrace, then east again on Leach Street to a trail head at Sullivan County Park and Lake.

“Preliminary discussions are underway with (SCPL) to create a pedestrian entrance,” Lamb mentioned.

“So you can see the vision here. Eventually, we'd like to connect Sullivan High School to downtown. Sullivan County Public Library to downtown. Sullivan City Park to downtown.”

If you recall, the city will also be extending this system east as well — thanks to an INDOT grant of about $1 million awarded last year — connecting the downtown to the Sullivan County Public Library. This project will occur in fiscal year 2021.

That project would expand down West Jackson Street, from Court Street to Crowder Street, to the library, then it would replace Lover’s Lane going north to Washington Street.

Then it will come back to the square where it will go to 112 West Washington, across the street from Sullivan Furniture, where it will also cover the north side of the square.

Last Tuesday, Rusty Fowler, deputy commissioner for INDOT’s Vincennes district talked about their long-term partnership with the city of Sullivan.

“Tonight's meeting was about community,” Fowler said. “It was about master plans for how to develop a small community, bring business in and all that. And INDOT plays a part in that in that we can help with transportation, resources. People think of INDOT, they think of cars and trucks and that type of thing. But they don't necessarily always think about people or bicycles and making those types of connections. 

“So that's what the mayor today tried to share with everyone is, hey, we're trying to make some connections in the community to make it a more walkable place.”

Fowler noted the two projects, east and west, will end up being about a $3.1 million investment overall, “all dollars in.

“And those are going to be huge improvements for the community, the city of Sullivan,” he said. “And there's going to be some connectivity to the park and to the library and everything downtown. When you start to talk about comprehensive plans for small communities and cities, it's just a win.”

While these projects extend out to 2021 and 2024, respectively, Lamb said they could occur earlier.

“If the city has its ducks in a row, has all their matching funds and has all its preliminary engineering out of the way … a lot of times, those projects can be expedited,” the mayor said.

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