What is Pathways Over Pogue’s (POP)
POP is a grassroots group of Near Eastside neighbors that formed in the summer of 2017 to advocate for the repair of the historic Nowland Avenue Bridge in Spades Park, just west of Rural. The bridge has deteriorated to the point it is becoming impassable. It is also impeding completion of the 5.3-mile Pogue’s Run Trail, which lies directly along its route.
History of the Nowland Avenue Bridge
The Nowland Avenue Bridge was designed and built in 1903 by nationally renowned engineer Daniel B. Luten, based in Indianapolis. It’s the oldest remaining Luten bridge in Indy and an early example of the patented Luten Arch. Steel rods encased in concrete under water connect the bottoms of the arch to stabilize it, like a string keeps the wood of a bow taut. This allows the bridge to be lighter and less expensive to build while maintaining stability — a Luten hallmark. The graceful curve of the arch was influenced by the City Beautiful movement of the early 20th century to build structures that were attractive as well as functional.
POP was informed that the City was not able to pay for the design to repair the bridge without a clear source to pay for the repair as well. POP formed to get the process started. Through crowd funding, grant writing and support from the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), Cummins Foundation, Indiana Landmarks, Reconnecting To Our Waterways (ROW), and Indianapolis Parks Foundation, POP has been working to fund the repair of the bridge and help get the trail finished.
What has POP Accomplished
In 2018, the POP campaign raised over $40,000, which was matched by $30,000 from CICF for a total of $70,000. In addition, ROW contributed another $70,000 through a Cummins Foundation donation. $140,000 was more than enough to pay for the design to repair the Nowland Avenue Bridge which is now underway by engineering firm RQAW. In January 2020, RQAW estimated the cost to repair at $500,000. Design should be completed by June of this year. If funds are secured by that time, the work to repair can begin. The second phase of fundraising has begun.
Pogue’s Run Trail
Although part of the original 1994 Master Greenways Plan, 26 years later the trail remains unfinished. Starting at Tenth and the Monon, just east of the Cultural Trail, the Pogue’s Run Trail heads north on Brookside Avenue across from the CCIC building and gets as far as Commerce before the built trail ends. When finished, it will continue through Spades and Brookside Parks, and end at the Pogue’s Run Art and Nature Park, west of Emerson. It will connect neighborhoods to downtown and the Monon, and increase opportunities for exercise, socialization and economic development on the Near Eastside.
Celebration and campaign kickoff has been postponed
Due to COVID-19, Pathways Over Pogue’s postponed its March 24 kickoff at Centerpoint. This is not the time for public events. Our hearts go out to all the businesses and individuals who are impacted through loss of income and through the disease itself. Stay safe. And stay tuned. The kickoff will still happen when we are able. Once we get new date, we will post here.
However the the campaign to raise the $500,000 necessary to repair the historic Nowland Avenue Bridge and help move the Pogue’s Run Trail forward will continue through grant writing, corporate and individual giving.
We are also raffling off a cool donation from Big Green this week (3/25 – 4/2) of 75 packets of seeds in a canvas bag with t-shirt and hat, since it’s the season. Go to https://popindy.org/news-and-events/ for the details.
Thank you to all of the businesses and individuals who worked on and contributed to this event.