New Fairfield trail to connect Harbin Park with Village Green

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

In a few years, it will be safer to walk along more of the Pleasant Avenue corridor in Fairfield.

City Council gave the OK for the city manager to contract with Choice One Engineering to design what’s being called the Pleasant Avenue multi-use trail, a connection of nearly 1.3 miles from Wessel Drive to Hunter Road providing walkable access from Harbin Park to Village Green and Fairfield’s town center.

“This trail would create a path to be accessed directly by a considerable portion of the city’s residential population without driving, connect a trail to the town center, and allow for future expansion to other sections of the city,” said Public Works Director Ben Mann.

A grant for this project was received from the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments and Mann said the path construction is expected to happen in 2025 or 2026. The OKI grant funding would pay about 70% of the project’s construction cost, or nearly $1.74 million. The total cost is nearly $2.5 million, and the engineering and right-of-way acquisition costs for the project will be completely footed by Fairfield.

The multi-use path aligns with the city’s active transportation plan known as Fairfield Connects.

Pedestrians can, on occasion, be seen walking along this stretch of Pleasant Avenue’s narrow shoulder or in the grass and swales that run parallel to the road, which is also U.S. 127. More than 20,500 cars travel daily along this section of Pleasant Avenue.

According to the Fairfield Connects plan, multi-use paths give equal priority to bike riders and pedestrians and are often installed in lieu of sidewalk and on-road bike lanes.

This project will be done in partnership with a road project that would reconfigure this stretch of Pleasant Avenue. The road project is expected to happen in 2029 at the earliest, Mann said. When the reconfiguration happens, it will provide 12-foot north and south through lanes and a 10-foot center lane. The multi-use path is expected to be 11 feet, separated from the road by a combination of grass and paved shoulder or curb. Mann said the width of that separation will vary.

Eventually, the path is expected to extend on either side of this phase of the Pleasant Avenue multi-use trail project. City plans show a 3,400-foot stretch of path from Hunter Road south to the city’s border with Hamilton County. Additionally, plans show a 5,500-foot path from Wessel Drive that leads west to the Great Miami River Trail through Village Green before connecting with the Nilles Road/River Road corridor.

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