CUMBERLAND — Construction of the Buck Creek Trail in Cumberland is set to begin in coming weeks.
Prep work on the $4 million project, which town officials have been planning for nearly a decade, has already begun, and officials will hold a meeting with residents Thursday to give details about when construction will start and how long it will last.
The meeting, 6:30 p.m. at town hall, 11501 E. Washington St., is open to the public and will give residents a chance to meet the project’s builders and leaders, according to a news release from the town.
Plans for the 3-mile Buck Creek Trail were first proposed about 10 years ago but were put on hold as the town focused on other projects.
Now, construction is ready to begin, and the trail should be built by fall, said Christine Owens, the town’s director of planning and development.
Town officials say they know with any large construction project, there will be questions, which prompted the informational meeting for residents.
There, they’ll discuss the project’s timeline, hand out contact information for contractors Calumet Civil Contractors of Whitestown in case construction issues arise and give residents — especially those neighboring the construction area — a chance to ask questions or address concerns, Owens said.
Once finished, the Buck Creek Trail will connect to the Pennsy Trail just east of Carroll Road on the south side of U.S. 40. The trail will follow the creek to Buck Creek Road, ending just short of Interstate 70.
The trail will run through several subdivisions, including Cumberland Heights, Glen Oaks Village, Cumberland Falls, Buck Creek Meadows and Lions Park.
A federal grant will cover 80 percent of the $4 million project cost, and the town will be responsible for footing the remaining 20 percent, about $800,000.
The trail will be about 12 feet wide, and residents will be able to use it to walk, run or bike.
Once the trail is complete, nearly every neighborhood in town will be connected to the Buck Creek or Pennsy trails, giving residents access to more than six miles of paths.
Council member Joe Siefker, who represents the northern portion of Cumberland through which the new trail will run, said his constituents will soon be able to jump on the trail and come into the downtown area without getting on any roads. They’ll be able to safely walk or ride bikes to nearby parks.
As the west side of the county grows, Cumberland wants to attract new residents to the town, he said, and families are looking for communities with trails that promote walking, biking or running.
“This is going to be a big deal here,” he said.
The town of Cumberland is holding a meeting Thursday to give residents an opportunity to learn more about the Buck Creek Trail construction timeline.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at town hall, 11501 E. Washington St.