McCORDSVILLE — A new trail planned for McCordsville will connect the town to trails in the Fishers and Geist areas, with construction planned to start in as little as two weeks.

The McCordsville Town Council has approved a contract from Smith Projects for roughly $92,400 to build what’s been dubbed the “Tri-County Connecter” along Carroll Road from its intersection with Treasure Pointe northward to Carroll’s intersection with Cardinal Drive. Town leaders say the project, which joins parts of Hancock, Marion and Hamilton counties, comes in response to residents asking for more walking paths in the area.

The town is partnering on the project with Geist Harbours Property Owners Association, which will pay about 43 percent of the cost.

It’s made up of homeowners on and around Geist Reservoir who live just outside town limits but who see the benefit of the project, said town council president Larry Longman.

The town will pay the rest, using a combination of grant money and funds budgeted for the project in past years that weren’t used, Longman said.

The trail plans include a crosswalk on Carroll Road/County Road 700 West at the south end, leading west from a trail along the Geist Woods Estates subdivision to join the new section.

From there, the new portion will head north, with the path pulling away from the road a little to preserve a line of mature trees. At some points, retaining walls will be built to preserve the grade of the path. Longman said homeowners along that portion of the trail agreed to cede a few yards of land to preserve most of the tree line.

“That was a good trade,” Longman said. “We wanted to make sure we could maintain some privacy for them.”

The trail stretches north along the western edge of Carroll for nearly 1,000 feet to connect with an existing path, with the point of joining across from Cardinal Drive. That end point is not far south of 96{sup}th{/sup} Street, which marks the boundary between Hancock and Hamilton counties, hence the Tri-County Connector name for the trail.

The Smith Projects bid was the lowest of three bids submitted, falling about $27,000 and $106,000 below two bidders. Town Engineer Mark Witsman said the vast differences came in each company’s method for clearing right of way. He also said Smith Projects had worked on other projects in the area; town officials were complimentary of their work.

“They’re competent, and I’m comfortable with them,” Witsman said.

The project is part of a larger effort to connect existing trails in the area. Witsman said the earliest start that could be made on this portion would be in two to three weeks.

Earlier this year, McCordsville leaders sought input from town residents as it updated its parks master plan.

Of the 532 respondents to the online parks survey, 375 — nearly 72 percent — ranked a trails system as the amenity most interesting to them. That outranked park facilities, community events, playground facilities and other choices.

Longman said he’s heard a lot about the project from eager residents.

“We’re excited to get it done,” he said. “We’re as excited as everyone else.”

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Anne Smith is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at