Ohio to Erie trail complete
The final link of the Ohio to Erie Trail through Madison County to Franklin County is now complete, allowing cyclists and other users to now travel unhindered from Cincinnati to Columbus' west side.
Wayne Roberts, executive director of the Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails, said contractors paved portions of the trail between Wilson Road, east of London, and Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park in western Franklin County in December and January.
A dedication ceremony for the new segment, called the Camp Chase Trail, is set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21 at the park's Alkire Road canoe access on Big Darby Creek near Galloway.
The project involved construction of a bike lane across the Alkire Road Bridge.
"It's part of the steel bridge over the Darby," Roberts said. "It's a strategic link."
Franklin County Metro Parts funded the $1.2 million bridge widening and oversaw construction. Both state and local officials supported the effort.
The new link brings the Ohio to Erie Trail within a few miles of the Hollywood Columbus Casino, now under construction on Columbus' west side. It's hoped the trail will draw business to the casino, as it has to merchants in towns and villages along its route.
A study by the University of Cincinnati of the economic impact of the Little Miami Scenic Trail on southwestern Ohio turned up positive results.
About 150,000 users travel that trail annually, spending an average of $13.24 per visit. Residential property values also increased when the trail passed nearby, the study showed.