City of Kokomo (Indiana) Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Project Summary

Like many U.S. cities, Kokomo, Indiana, has examined ways to revitalize and improve its downtown area. With the 84-mile-long Wildcat Creek running through the heart of downtown, the city has faced challenges in this former industrial area, such as flooding, trash dumping and deteriorating buildings.

Kokomo’s leadership turned to Hanson for help, which included providing options for the trail and development; helping visualize the potential trail and improvements; and creating an inviting space. Hanson used drone footage, aerial and ground surveys and lidar to create a virtual reality tour of the new trail, amenities and development.

As the $10 million project got underway, Hanson communicated with residents about project developments and construction updates. Hanson also worked with the Kokomo-Center Township Consolidated School Corp. before, during and after construction to minimize disruptions for Central Middle School, which is located along Wildcat Creek, and provide an outdoor learning environment for students.

As the lead consultant, Hanson directed the project from conceptual design development through final construction documents. Hanson’s planning team worked to maximize surrounding land uses and businesses while taking into consideration the safety and welfare of users. Our team of environmental scientists evaluated the contaminated soils and worked closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the local Soil and Water Conservation District to find ways to reduce environmental impacts.

Hanson’s structural engineers worked closely with a geotechnical subconsultant to design solutions for building on the unsuitable soils surrounding the creek. The team’s solutions included helical piles, or driven H-piles, to support three elevated bridges; lightweight fill under a section of the trail; and cast-in-place and “soldier pile” retaining walls to optimize the soft soils and reduce environmental impacts to the creek.