Check out the video about POP Campaign:

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’s Role

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 Friends of Brookside and Spades Park, POP’s current fiscal sponsor, POP has been working to fund the repair of the bridge and help get the trail finished.


What POP Has Accomplished and Next Steps

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 the $80,000 needed to design the repair of the Nowland Avenue Bridge.  The design was completed by engineering firm RQAW in May 2020, which estimated cost to repair at $524,000.  The $60,000  left over from 2018 campaign provided a good head start to 2020 campaign to fund the repair. Now that the design is done, the second phase of fundraising has begun to raise the remaining  $464,000 needed for the repair.

There is an urgency to raising the funds because, the longer the delay between design and repair, the more expensive the project becomes and the more POP’s hard-earned $80,000 spent for design will be chipped away.  Permits will need to be reapplied for.  Bridge will continue to deteriorate which can increase the amount of work needed and potentially require reanalysis of the repairs.  And the estimated cost of construction will continue to rise through inflation alone.

POP has been awarded a 2021 federal Community Development  Block Grant that should be sufficient to pay for the repair of the bridge!  Thank you to Adam Shoemaker who worked on the grant under a tight deadline to get it done!

Next step is to begin working with City to get the repair done.  Because it is a federal fund, it will require more steps and more money.  Will keep you posted!

Pogue’s Run Trail

Although part of the original 1994 Master Greenways Plan, more than a quarter century 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, the trail 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.


How You Can Help

  • Encourage people in your circles (neighborhood, workplace, place of worship) to visit the POP website and DONATE
  • Share the video and POP website and Facebook page on social media
  • Contact City, State and Federal reps about funding the bridge and trail
  • Contact us at if you would like to help.  All help appreciated, especially with fundraising.