Hamilton’s Beltline biking/walking path taking another step forward

Joseph Wegman, Bella Herron and their dog, Murphy, enjoyed the Beltline bike/hike path last week. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF
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Joseph Wegman, Bella Herron and their dog, Murphy, enjoyed the Beltline bike/hike path last week. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF

Council expected to accept $750K in state funding for Phase 2 of project to connect Cleveland Avenue with North B Street.

With the first phase of Hamilton’s Beltline bicycling/walking path now finished and receiving good use, other parts are moving ahead.

Hamilton City Council on Wednesday evening was expected to approve a resolution accepting $750,000 in state funding for Phase 2 of the project, which will connect Cleveland Avenue with North B Street, not far north of the under-construction Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex.

Phase 1 of the Beltline, linking Eaton Avenue with Cleveland Avenue, was finished this spring. It is about a half mile long, between Cleveland Avenue, next to Jim Grimm Park, and Eaton Avenue, near the Flub’s Dariette ice cream shop.

ExploreHamilton’s Beltline bike/hike trail already getting strong use

For Phase 2, the city will combine $750,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with its required share of funding, $62,172, which will be used for survey work, creation of construction drawings and documents for bidding and construction contracts documents. City government’s money is to come from Hamilton’s capital improvement & debt service fund for 2022.

Allen Messer, senior civil engineer for the city, recently told the Journal-News Phase 2 should be finished by Memorial Day of 2022.

Phase 2 will wind through the most beautiful part of the Beltline’s approximately 3-mile stretch through the West Side. Current plans are for the bikeway/walking path to extend westward to at least the under-construction intersection of Main Street with Cereal, Haldimand and Western avenues, where a sidewalk already has been built during that intersection’s reconfiguration.

Darion Allen, Freya Smith, 1, and Riley Herzog, 8, walk on the recently completed section of the beltline project connecting Cleveland Avenue and Eaton Avenue Friday, May 14, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/ STAFF
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Darion Allen, Freya Smith, 1, and Riley Herzog, 8, walk on the recently completed section of the beltline project connecting Cleveland Avenue and Eaton Avenue Friday, May 14, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/ STAFF

Extension of the bikeway all the way to the Cereal/Haldimand/Western/Main likely will take several more years. City staff is still working to identify grant sources they can use for the project’s Phase 4, heading further west from Eaton Avenue.

Phase 3, is now being designed. It will connect the Beltline near Spooky Nook along North B Street and the Great Miami River to the High/Main bridge. Even before that happens, bicyclists and walkers still will be able to easily make their way along that route because sidewalks near the sports complex and along B Street will be finished this year.