A portion of the railroad line that once connected Lawrenceburg to the Kentucky River and beyond is going to be transformed into something new and exciting for both local residents and visitors coming into the community.
Though trains haven’t used the railroad line between the YKK factory and Tyrone Road since the mid-1980s, the path through the woods still exists. Lawrenceburg/Anderson County has been selected for funding in the form of a $240,000 grant from the Kentucky Department for Local Government, announced Thursday by Department for Local Government Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo. The grant, which still requires federal approval, will provide the funding needed to have the former railroad line transformed into a Rails to Trails trail that will allow people to walk or bike from Lawrenceburg all the way to Tyrone Road, just south of the Wild Turkey distillery property.
The highlight of the roughly two-mile-long trail will be the Cedarbrook Viaduct, an 800-foot-long, 110-foot-tall bridge that crosses over Cedarbrook Road. It was completed in 1889 as part of the railroad project that included the better known Young’s High Bridge which spans the Kentucky River and is now owned by Vertigo Bungee. The Cedarbrook Viaduct is still an impressive structure that will offer great views of Anderson County’s beautiful wooded areas and other natural beauty.
Along with local residents and visitors, the trail will be accessible for use for 5K races, nature walks, field trips, and other events.
Kentucky has at least 30 trails that have been constructed along abandoned railroad lines and many others have been proposed for development. Throughout the United States there are more than 2,000 rails-trails spanning more than 24,000 miles, with trails found in all 50 states.
The trail for Anderson County was researched and initiated by the Lawrenceburg/Anderson County Tourism office and Lawrenceburg’s America in Bloom group before being presented to the City of Lawrenceburg and Anderson County Judge Executive’s Office, which will administer the project and oversee the trail once it is completed.
The city engineer’s office prepared and submitted the grant application to the Department for Local Government in April. The application was approved in September and it is anticipated that the funding will be made available in the spring of 2020. Construction will begin within a year, as required by the grant.