“I look forward to it,” Reuter said. “I think it’ll connect downtown Hamilton with surrounding neighborhoods, and it’ll be, one, a healthy way to get around, but two, it opens up more opportunities for businesses along that corridor, whether it’s bike rentals along that corridor.”
It will be good to have better connections among the neighborhoods, added Reuter, who has lived in Prospect Hill five years and works nearby at Realty First and said he spends “a decent amount” of time on the Great Miami River bike path.
Garuckas said the city was putting the finishing touches on the ‘Categorical Exclusion’ form required by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. That’s a checklist of mostly environmental issues that inquires whether wetlands or endangered species might be affected by the project.
“We believe we have finished all the information that ODNR is going to need to approve the CE,” Garuckas said. City staff had to contact various state agencies and consultants in providing the required information, and expected to send it to the state this week, he said.
“Once they get that information, they’re going to evaluate it, and if it meets their standards, they’re going to send us the actual contract for the monies we were awarded a couple years ago for Phase I,” Garuckas said. “At that time, they’ll release our funds, and we can then get into the actual construction of it.”
In the meantime, the city has been doing necessary environmental studies and has designed the work.
“We would have been done already, but with COVID-19 and people working from home, there was some survey work that took a little bit longer than everyone anticipated,” Garuckas said. That all is done.