ODOT Promotes Path in Ohio

Tue November 20, 2007 - Midwest Edition
Linda J. Hutchinson

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is serious about promoting healthier forms of transportation. Recently awards of more than $5.7 million in federal funds were granted to local communities across the state for the construction and renovation of bicycle trails, sidewalks, and walking paths for the 2010-2011 budget cycle.

ODOT has awarded the city of St. Clairsville more than $880,000 to repair the National Road Bikeway Tunnel, Ohio’s only Rail-Trail Tunnel located on the National Road Bikeway.

Photos taken inside the tunnel by bridge inspectors clearly show the damage to the concrete lining; rust staining and efflorescence, water pondage, perimeter cracking of the Gunite, and corroded rock bolts. There also is a minor ceiling collapse in the cavity, and a non-functioning drain pipe adds to the tunnel’s stress. Some repairs were made in 2003 by city crews.

ODOT also awarded more than $903,000 to the Holmes County Park District for Phase 5A of the Holmes County Trail. The trail will extend to the Knox County Mohican Valley Trail and the Kokosing Gap Trail. The project also will include the construction of a 260-ft. (79 m) lighted tunnel under U.S. Route 62 and lighting on 740-ft. (225 m) of the trail, according to a press release issued by ODOT.

Eleven projects will receive funding for the 2010-11 budget cycle. The city of Salem will get approximately 1,200-ft. (365 m) of new sidewalks and a 2,675-ft. (815 m) gap in pedestrian facilities will be filled along the community’s mall retail corridor. Millersburg also will get new sidewalks.

Other projects to receive funds include: Wabash Cannonball Trail Head, Heart of Ohio Trail, Heath Bike Path Extension and Bridge, Canal Feeder Riverwalk Phase II, Walking Bridge over Prairie Creek, River Trail Phase III, SR 664 Sidewalk Project, SR 14 Sidewalk Project, and the SR 83 Sidewalk Project.

The federal dollars awarded come from ODOT’s Transportation Enhancement Program. ODOT provides approximately $21 million for projects that “enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of transportation infrastructure” according to a press release. “Since 1991, ODOT has invested more than $148 million in federal Transportation Enhancement funds to pedestrian and bicycle trail projects.”

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