Lebanon seeks school safety grant to build Broadway bike path

The city hopes to construct a 10-foot-wide paved path between Fire Station 41 and Miller Road

Riding a bike up and down North Broadway Street could get a lot safer for school kids heading to and from school.

Lebanon officials are applying for a state Safe Routes to School grant to construct a multi-use paved trail along North Broadway between city Fire Station 41 and Miller Road in 2025.

City Manager Scott Brunka said the city is seeking $400,000 in grant funding from the SRTS program.

“This is the most cost-effective way to go with a 10-foot wide path to get the bike path off the road,” Brunka said. “It’s always been our goal to have a separate bike path and do it in conjunction with road works and the water main replacement.”

Casey Burdick, city recreation and natural resources coordinator, said the project is estimated to cost about $1.16 million to construct the 10-foot wide path behind the curb on the west side of North Broadway and eliminate the existing on-road dedicated bike path.

Burdick said this infrastructure project that will improve student safety is eligible for SRTS grant funding. This is the first time the city has applied for an SRTS grant that will fund 100% of the project up to $400,000.

Brunka said the city will also be seeking other grants from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund, the Ohio Public Works Commission and use funds through the city’s park impact fee to cover the balance of the project’s cost. He said construction could begin in 2024 and be completed in late 2025.

City officials said if Lebanon is awarded the grant, the project would be budgeted for and executed in 2025 in coordination with the planned water main replacement and pavement resurfacing programs along this corridor.

Brunka said the Ohio Department of Transportation had identified North Broadway, which is also Ohio 48, for inclusion in the urban paving program. He said the new water main would be installed under the proposed bike path.

Lebanon City Council approved moving forward with the grant at its work session Tuesday as the grant’s application deadline was Friday.

Last month, council approved a resolution to adopt the Lebanon Safe Routes to School plan that was developed by the city, the Lebanon City Schools and St. Francis DeSales Catholic School. The local entities developed the plan to improve safety and to encourage more more students to walk and ride their bicycles to school.

One of the recommendations of the plan was to construct a separate paved bike path along North Broadway to replace the current bike lane.

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