Ohio River Trail
Ohio River Trail Update Fall 2011
A survey of the 4 mile segment of the Ohio River Trail was completed in 2009 by Hamilton County Park District and The Ohio River Paddlefest from downtown to Lunken.
The purpose of the survey is to identify the pinch points in the 50ft. wide corridor that will require retaining walls and new bridges when it is re-constructed for passenger rail and to explore where a permanent trail can be located compatible with rail.
This is an important ingredient in obtaining Federal Transportation Authority (FTA) approval for the temporary trail. In addition, The Ohio River Paddlefest will be working with the Eastern Corridor Transportation Improvement District to insure that their next round of studies include the evaluation of a permanent trail in the Oasis Corridor as a part of the multi-modal transportation plan.
The Ohio River Paddlefest Development Committee, chaired by Jan & Wym Portman made progress in 2009 toward raising the required funds to build the temporary hike/bike trail from downtown to Lunken. A total of $1.2 million of the $4 million private sector goal is committed to date.
It seems that the downtown to Lunken segment of the Ohio River Trail is the most complicated of the future Ohio to Erie Trail. To date 78% of this 320 mile trail is completed. Locally several segments are underway. The City of Cincinnati will be completing Elm Street to Broadway and Carrel to Wilmer (Lunken) in 2010 and Wilmer to Salem in 2012.
The Hamilton County Park District is partnering with Anderson Township, Anderson Township Park District, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Transportation to extend the Little Miami Scenic Trail 3.1 miles from Newtown to Beechmont Ave.
Federal and state funds totaling $2.6 million have been secured to assist in construction of the trail segment from the Little Miami Golf Center in Newtown to Beechmont Ave. The estimated cost for the project is $4.2 million with local funds to be contributed by the Hamilton County Park District and Anderson Township. Engineering is in the final stages and a small segment of right of way remains to be acquired. The project is currently scheduled to be under construction in 2013.
To connect the trail with Lunken Field a new bike trail bridge across the Little Miami Scenic River has been proposed. It will parallel the existing Beechmont Ave. vehicular bridge. The total estimated cost is approximately $5 million. Additional federal, state and local funds are being sought for implementation of the bridge project.
By the end of 2011 the Hamilton County Park District will complete construction of a 1 mile trail and bridge connecting the existing 1.9 mile loop trail at Armleder Park and the existing 5 mile loop trail at Lunken Field.
Other trail initiatives that connect with the Ohio River Trail include the Mill Creek Trail and The Licking River Greenway and Trails Initiative. Recently, Millcreek Restoration Project (MCRP) secured $500,000 from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund for the second phase of the Queen City South Mill Creek trail that will begin in 2010. The MCRP plans to complete the 3.4 mile Queen City-South Mill Creek Greenway Trail over the next two years to link the trail via the historic Miami-to-Erie Canal Corridor. Over the next five years, the MCRP plans to complete a continuous 13.5 mile Greenway Trail from the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Carthage to the Ohio River. From the confluence with the Ohio River, the Mill Creek trail will connect 5 miles to the Central Riverfront Park and the Ohio River Trail. The Licking River Greenway and Trails initiative is an ambitious Northern Kentucky effort to create an urban greenway from the mouth of the Licking River to I-275. This trail to the south will connect to Ohio River Trail via the Newport waterfront and the Purple People Bridge.
A recreational trail connecting our region to Downtown and to the new Riverfront Park will be a great asset for Greater Cincinnati. It would not only enhance our quality of life but also be another economic development tool for recruiting companies and young professionals to our beautiful river city. Ohio River will continue to advocate the vision with your help. Thank you for your support in 2009. We look forward to your continued involvement in the future.