Franklin-Middletown bike path project moving forward

Construction on the more than 1.4-mile section of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail is underway along the river and Ohio 73 between Middletown and Franklin. The $2.5 million project is expected to be completed in late September 2021. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Construction on the more than 1.4-mile section of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail is underway along the river and Ohio 73 between Middletown and Franklin. The $2.5 million project is expected to be completed in late September 2021. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Dirt has been turned as ground clearing and other earthwork is continuing along Ohio 73 between Franklin and Middletown to construct the last 1.4-mile section of the multi-use Great Miami River Scenic Trail.

Kathleen Fuller, spokeswoman for Ohio Department of Transportation District 8 in Lebanon, said work is on schedule for the project.

“Everything is moving along and the contractor does not expect to have a winter shutdown, weather permitting,” Fuller said.

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ODOT awarded the $2.4 million contract to Milcon Concrete to perform the work and all other associated work to be completed by Sept. 30, 2021. The project is to extend the existing bike trail from just east of Breiel Boulevard in Middletown to Baxter Road in Franklin.

Fuller said the work that’s currently going on includes earthwork, compacting earth, and constructing a large retaining wall.

“Rain could affect this project and work will continue as long as it doesn’t get wet,” she said.

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According to ODOT’s website, motorists can expect daily lane closures from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Ohio 73 between Baxter Drive and Breiel Boulevard. In addition, traffic in the work zone will be maintained and the right lane of westbound Ohio 73 will be closed until mid-January for the construction of a retaining wall.

ODOT is administering the project being constructed with funding from Franklin, Middletown and the federal government. The project has been discussed and planned for close to three decades.

ODOT said the entire project also includes installing concrete barriers to separate the bike trail from traffic and extending the storm sewer.

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Scott Tadych, Middletown’s public works and utilities director, said in May the biggest part of the project was the 706-foot long and up to 7-foot tall retaining wall needed to separate Ohio 73 and the Great Miami River.

ExploreFranklin, Middletown moving bike path project forward

Monroe is scheduled to complete a 2.4-mile section of the bike path through the Monroe Bicentennial Commons park, the former Americana amusement park that is scheduled for construction in 2022.

In a related issue, Middletown council heard the first reading of an ordinance to enter an agreement with ODOT to rehabilitate the existing bike path, improve the pavement and stripe bike lanes from the intersection of Verity Parkway and Girard Avenue to the intersection of First Avenue and Water Street.

The project, which is programmed for construction in 2021 is 100% percent federally funded. City staff will design, build and administer the contract under ODOT and federal guidelines.

Council is expected to give final approval for this project at its Dec. 1 meeting.

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