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 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 fiscal sponsor, POP succeeded in raising the funds to repair the bridge.
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 the 2020 campaign to fund the repair.
In 2021 POP was awarded a federal Community Development Block Grant to cover the repair of the bridge! Thank you to Adam Shoemaker who worked on the grant under a tight deadline to get it done!
Construction of the bridge began in March 2022 and was completed on December 5, 2022 when the last piece – the internal handrail was installed. Due to the holidays and winter approaching, the Grand Opening will take place in Spring of 2023. Announcement to follow.
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.
Thanks to efforts of many, spearheaded by Reconnecting to Our Waterways and the City, the Trail is funded and work should begin in 2023.