Hamilton residents can weigh in on bike path proposal

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Hamilton residents can weigh in on bike path proposal

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The dark lines indicate the portion of a rail line that once serviced the former Champion Paper plant on the west side of the Great Miami River. The city of Hamilton wants to acquire the former rail line from CSX to develop the Hamilton Beltline bike path. CONTRIBUTED

The city of Hamilton begins a 14-day comment period today, Jan. 17, to accept environmental questions, comments or concerns about the proposed Beltline bike path.

The city is pursuing funds to re-purpose the 2.96-mile rail corridor and rail yard on the west side of Hamilton, which is also known as the Beltline.

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The Beltline runs off of CSX’s main line from Millville Avenue to the former Champion Paper Mill.

CSX has previously filed for abandonment of the rail line, and city officials have requested a stay in the abandonment proceedings to allow time to evaluate productive re-use of the line.

Plans for this land include building a recreational bike path to connect residents on the west side of Hamilton to the riverfront area and a variety of other amenities. Additionally, the city is considering the possibility of constructing a bridge over Two Mile Creek where the former rail bridges currently stand.

The city has begun the process of coordinating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that no trail or bridge construction would interfere with the aquatic wildlife in Two Mile Creek. In addition, the city said it is also working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to ensure that no endangered species will be affected negatively by the bike path.

The city said it has reached out to the local floodplain administrator for feedback on the project as well.

Residents with comments about the project may submit them by email at nick.garuckas@hamilton-oh.gov, or by mail to: City Clerk’s Office, 345 High St., 7th floor, Hamilton, OH, 45011.

Residents can also visit the City Clerk’s Office in person to share their comments.

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