In 1999, Indianapolis officially designates six Cultural Districts: Massachusetts Avenue, Fountain Square, The Canal & White River State Park, Indiana Avenue, the Wholesale District, and Broad Ripple.  Cultural Development Commissioners (CDC) were charged with finding ways to promote the city’s cultural assets.  Brian Payne, president of Central Indiana Community Foundation, was appointed as a CDC and believed the cultural districts could be connected by an urban version of the Monon Trail for both pedestrians and bicyclists.  

From 2001-2003, $4 million was raised for initial design studies and concepts.  In 2004, the City of Indianapolis gave permission to use city right-of-way to build the Trail.  The City has continued to be a partner and champion of the Trail.  After an international RFP in 2005, local firms, R.W. Armstrong & Rundell Ernstberger Associates are hired as construction management and lead architecture design teams, respectively.

Eugene and Marilyn Glick generously commit $15 million as a lead gift, and in 2007 the ground-breaking of the Trail took place at the southeast corner of Alabama and North streets.

In 2010, the Trail was awarded a $20.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation through its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.

In May 2013, the 8 miles of Trail are complete and the official grand opening celebration took place.


GDOI ribbon cutting



April 2007
Official groundbreaking
East Corridor construction begins

East Corridor construction complete

Northeast Corridor construction begins
North Corridor construction begins

North Corridor construction complete
Northeast Corridor construction complete

Capitol & Alabama Corridors complete
Southeast Corridor construction begins
West Corridor construction begins
Central Corridor construction begins

Southeast Corridor construction complete
West Corridor construction complete
Central Corridor construction complete

May 2013
Official Grand Opening “Get Down On It” Celebration!