Planned improvements to areas around the Tulip Trestle this spring will beautify the historic site and make it more accessible and user-friendly to tourists.
(GCDW File Photo courtesy of Indiana Rail Road Company)
Grossman explained that officials with the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation, United States Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Crop Production Services and Indiana Rail Road Company have teamed up with landowner Jackie Craig to make the beautification project a reality.
Grossman said the 6.7 acre site, owned by Craig and placed in a reserve program, will be transformed to a flower-filled educational and scenic tool for the county.
He noted that prairie grass and a mixture of wildflowers will be planted on the landowner's property and under the trestle on railroad property right of way, a nature walking trail will be constructed and an observatory deck along with benches will be placed at the site.
In addition, another pull-off will be built to provide tourist with a better view of the structure for photos.
"About September, it's going to look really great out there," Grossman told the commissioners. "There are going to be a lot of wildflowers in bloom."
There are plans to set up a audio tour along the trail explaining this history of the construction of the engineering marvel that was completed in 1906, according to Gross.
The structure ---- the third of the longest steel viaduct's in the world ---- is 2,295 feet long and 157 feet high over the Richland Creek and valley floor below.
"Things are really rolling along with this project," Grossman commented. "Most everything for the project has been donated."
He added, "This started as a smaller project and kind of snowballed since then. We first talked about the idea almost of year ago about trying to do something down there (at the trestle). It's a picturesque site. Everybody comes there to take pictures ... Everybody in the area knows where it's at. Everybody visits it and it makes sense that it would be a great place to turn it into an educational tool and also a tourist tool. We've kind of taken that idea and kind of molded it."
Grossman said the landowner is keen to the educational aspect and the environmental advantage that the project can provide.
"He really thought this was a great idea. Originally, we wanted to have a wetlands out there. After doing extensive soils survey, a wetlands wasn't going to happen because the soils weren't conducive to it. So this we still wanted to use this project to our advantage and the property owner still wanted to use it," he explained.
(GCDW file photo by Nick Schneider)
Indiana Rail Road Company, which will erect a barrier to ensure that patrons to the area do not trespass onto the actual trestle structure, has asked the county commissioner's attorney Marilyn Hartman to prepare legal documents to release liability in the event someone is injury at the site, according to Grossman.
The commissioners granted that request and also agreed to allow county highway trucks to be used to haul donated gravel from the landowner for the new pull off site.
Commissioner President Rick Graves liked he idea and commented, "We'll help you. Whatever you need, you just ask."