Franklin, Middletown moving bike path project forward

Middletown and Franklin are in the process of completing legislation to obtain funding to close the 1.5-mile gap on the Great Miami River Recreation Trail. The bike path in Middletown ends just north of the intersection of Ohio 73 and North Breiel Boulevard.Trail. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Work on completing the final link of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail moved another step forward this week.

Middletown City Council Tuesday heard a first reading of 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.

City Council will hear a second reading of the ordinance and vote on it at its Feb. 21 meeting.

The extension would assist in bridging the 1.4-mile gap between Middletown and Franklin. Both cities are obtaining 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. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020.

According to officials in both cities, 80 percent of the $1.7 million project will be covered by federal funding. Of the remaining 20 percent in local project costs, Franklin will cover 60 percent or about $252,870, while Middletown will cover 40 percent or about $170,000. There will also be expenses for plan updates and environmental work that the cities will share the costs.

The project will entail building the 10-foot wide multi-use trail that will also include building a 400-foot retaining wall, installation of concrete barriers to separate bike and motor vehicle traffic, and the extension of storm sewer.

“I think it will be great for Franklin and Middletown when this is completed,” said Franklin City Manager Sonny Lewis. “It will be a continuous trail for bike riders. We are looking forward to connecting and bringing fun and great activities to both communities.”

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