More than $1.2 million in funding will go toward rehabbing the Monon High Bridge Trail, including the abandoned rail trestle that runs over Deer Creek near Delphi.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) director Cameron Clark recently announced the Monon High Bridge as one of the first recipients of funding from the Next Levels Trails program a $90 million commitment to trail development in the state.

The Monon High Bridge, which once carried CSX trains — was a popular destination for hikers on Delphi’s expansive trail system.

The bridge gained of notoriety as the spot where Delphi murder victims Abby Williams and Libby German were last seen on Feb. 13, 2017. The bridge has been fenced off ever since.

According to the governor’s office, the Next Level Trails funding will add decking and safety railing to the Monon High Bridge, believed to be Indiana’s second tallest bridge. Key partners include Indiana Landmarks, The Wabash and Erie Canal Association and Heartland Heritage Inc.

The funding will also go toward constructing a 0.95-mile asphalt trail along the former rail corridor from Samuel Milroy Road to the Monon High Bridge. The trail will cross the Hoosier Heartland Highway using the recently rehabilitated Freedom Bridge — a historic truss bridge relocated from Owen County.

Next Level Trail’s investment of $90 million is the largest infusion of state trail funding in Indiana history. The DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation will administer the program in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The project in Delphi was one of 17 trails, comprising 42 miles, to be selected in the initial round for funding.

These 17 projects are a tremendous investment in quality of life for Hoosiers as trails create important connections within and between communities across our state,” Holcomb said in a news release. “Our growing network of trails is more than a recreational and transportation amenity it’s an important tool for economic development by helping Indiana attract and retain the best workforce in the country.”

The state says the recipients contributed $12.5 million in matching funds. The program requires a 20-percent project match.

“The additional leverage provided by community partners above and beyond the program match requirement speaks to the local support these projects enjoy and helps to stretch these dollars for more miles of trail,” Clark said. “It’s exciting to see local governments, non-profits, philanthropy and the business community work together to build trails.”

The program will have three more funding rounds before being complete.

The Monon High Bridge was on the Indiana Landmarks “10 Most Endangered” list in 2017, when the Indianapolis-based preservation group negotiated with CSX to begin plans to shore it up. Those negotiations, Indiana Landmarks officials said at the time, had been in the works for several years and was not timed to the homicides earlier that year.
But, were the homicides/ritual sacrifices of the girls a part of the plan to obtain the support needed for their agenda??  One has to wonder.


New Monon High Bridge Trail to be dedicated September 6

The public is invited to a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting in Delphi.

The public is invited to a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting at the newly completed Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi at 1 p.m. (EDT) on September 6, when representatives of the City of Delphi, Indiana Landmarks, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will formally dedicate the 1.5-mile trail.

The former rail corridor became an unofficial trail after it was vacated by CSX Transportation in the late 1980s, though the historic Monon High Bridge, the trail’s namesake, had been a de facto pedestrian bridge since its construction in 1891. The idea of integrating the Monon High Bridge and rail corridor into a community trail originated in the late 1990s but didn’t gain significant traction until 2012, when Indiana Landmarks and local preservation partners Heartland Heritage, Inc. and Delphi Preservation Society initiated formal negotiations with CSX.

In 2017, CSX transferred the bridge and nearly half a mile of approach to Indiana Landmarks, which immediately began stabilization and repair to a severely damaged support pier. North Central Health Services granted an additional $248,000 to install decking and railing on the west quarter of the bridge to allow for safe pedestrian use.

Following COVID-related delays, the new prefabricated decking and custom steel railing system were installed in 2022.The Monon High Bridge is now safely accessible to the public, offering breathtaking views of the Deer Creek Valley from the landmark span,” says Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office.

The City of Delphi received a $1.25 million grant from the State of Indiana’s Next Level Trails program, administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, to develop an ADA compliant pedestrian and bicycle trail from the east edge of the city to the Monon High Bridge, including a new trailhead and parking area, paving, and installation of lighting, trail cameras, and information kiosks.

This stunning trail connects heritage sites such as the Centennial and Bicentennial monuments with the repurposed Freedom Bridge over SR 25 to the Veterans Memorial Plaza with its massive Monon train engine etched in granite, then onward to the iconic High Bridge overlooking Deer Creek,” says Delphi Mayor Anita Werling.

Additional funding support for the trail and bridge rehabilitation project was provided by CSX Transportation, Deer Creek Township, the Efroymson Family Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the Indiana Trails Fund.

WHAT: Monon High Bridge Trail dedication

WHEN: Wednesday, September 6 at 1 p.m. (EDT)
Remarks by Anita Werling, mayor of Delphi; Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks; Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks Western Regional Office; Chris Smith, deputy director at Indiana Department of Natural Resources; and Bonnie Maxwell representing Heartland Heritage Inc.

WHERE: Veterans Memorial Plaza at Freedom Bridge in Delphi, Indiana

Event parking will be at Miller Park, 1511 Old Camden Road, Delphi, and Bison Plaza parking off W 300 N (just north of the Monon viaduct.) Trail transportation will be provided for those with mobility needs. In the event of rain, the dedication will be held at the Wabash & Erie Canal Center, 1030 N. Washington Street.


Sorry, I just find it so totally suspicious that for years they had been struggling to get the support and funding for their plans to connect the Monon Bridge with the rest of their trails they are so generously creating for the “public”.  Now, all of a sudden, because the deaths of these two precious little girls has made the Monon Bridge a focus of the News and the public following the case they miraculously are provided all the money and support they needed. hmmm

Sorry, but the entire investigation and legal proceedings have been like a comedy of errors.  It is ridiculous!  Either our legal system is totally corrupt, or totally inept.