Director: Bikeway connector ‘really critical’ to economic growth along Great Miami River

Officials to celebrate bike path that links Middletown and Franklin at ribbon-cutting ceremony next month.

A dream years in the making has become a reality.

A portion of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail bike path that links two Butler and Warren county cities recently was completed along Ohio 73. The 1.4-mile stretch between Middletown and Franklin is finished and the cities and local and regional officials will celebrate early next month with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Scott Tadych, director of Middletown public works, said he was “thrilled” the bikeway was completed and he believes it will promote tourism along the bikeway that stretches continuously from Piqua to Middletown.

“A huge benefit” is how Tadych described the bikeway.

Dan Foley, director of the Great Miami Riverway, called filling the short gap between the cities “really critical” because its means the bikeway now stretches for 340 continuous miles — the nation’s largest network of connected, paved trails — will lead to economic growth in both communities and may spur the connector between Middletown and Hamilton.

Earlier this year, Middletown City Council approved an ordinance to enter a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for its portion of costs to extend the regional bike trail to the city limits from its current terminus north of the intersection of Breiel Boulevard and Ohio 73.

Both cities obtained a total of $1.7 million in federal funding programmed through their respective transportation agencies, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Officials said 80% of the $1.7 million project was covered by federal funding. Of the remaining 20% in local project costs, Franklin covered about $252,870 and Middletown paid about $170,000.

During the project, a 10-foot wide multi-use trail was built along the Great Miami River, a retaining wall was constructed and concrete barriers were installed to separate bike and motor vehicle traffic, Tadych said.

Foley recently made a presentation to local officials encouraging them to support filling the 4.7-mile gap in the Great Miami River Trail between Middletown and Hamilton.

He said both Butler County cities are experiencing “significant economic activity” in their downtowns that would be strengthened if the gap was completed.

That type of “vibrancy” is seen in places like downtown Loveland, along the Little Miami Scenic Trail, or developments like the upscale residential project recently announced along Cincinnati’s Wasson Way, Foley said.


WHAT: Ribbon-cutting for Great Miami River bike path

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Sept. 2

WHERE: 4401 N. Verity Parkway, parking lot of Miami River Trailhead

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