Hamilton project receives $720K, called ‘huge win’ for city’s development

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

HAMILTON — A new path helping residents and tourists get from the West Side to High and Main streets and likely generating economic opportunities for those downtown businesses recently got a financial boost.

Hamilton received $720,000 from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments to help build the Hamilton Beltline path. City Planner Liz Hayden said during the next several years the city will apply for grants in hopes of offsetting the costs.

“A huge win,” Hayden said.

The money will be used to covert an abandoned rail corridor to a 10-foot-wide asphalt bike and hike path from behind Mill No. 2 of the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill project to the Great Miami River trailhead. This is the first segment of Hamilton’s Beltline path.

Hayden said the project is expected to be complete in three to four years. The first phase is about a half-mile-long piece between Cleveland and Eaton avenues.

Ultimately, the path will be a 2.96-mile asphalt strip that will extend in a large curve from the former Champion Paper mill to near Millville Avenue. The former paper mill is being redeveloped into the gigantic indoor sports complex and convention center called Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill.

The Hamilton grant was part of nearly $40 million for 23 projects in the region, according to officials.

The funds were allocated to Ohio and Kentucky projects through two federal programs: the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) program and the Transportation Alternatives (TA) program, officials said.

The funding will assist eight Ohio projects and seven Kentucky projects, many designed to ease traffic congestion, improve air quality and enhance safety at various areas and cities throughout the region.

Also in Butler County, Fairfield received $2,457,806 to expand one land southbound and upgrade sidewalks on South Gilmore Road from Mack Road to Planet Drive.

In Warren County, the Fields Ertel Road Improvement Project between Snider Road and Wilkens Boulevard that will include widening road from two to five lanes received $5.4 million and sidewalk and storm sewer replacements along US 42 and Ohio 123 received $672,822.

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