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Comments sought for bike trail

WARREN — The public has a chance to weigh in on the final route of the last leg of Trumbull County’s portion of the bike trail, which will join the sections in Niles and Warren.

The Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail will span about 100 miles from Lake Erie in Ashtabula down to the Ohio River in Columbiana County once completed. Work in Astabula, Columbiana County and the Mill Creek MetroParks is still being completed. About 75 miles are finished.

Trumbull County MetroParks Executive Director Zachary Svette said if all of the funding is acquired and the timeline to acquire property needed for the trail isn’t delayed, construction and completion of the trail between Niles and Warren could be finished in 2022.

Approximately 21 acres of new, permanent trail and 1.115 acres of temporary right-of-way will be required from 17 property owners to construct the project. Right-of-way acquisition will begin this year, Svette said.

A list of property owners who a consultant will work with to acquire the land is available on pages eight and nine of the “Right Way Plan Set” on the bottom of the homepage of www.trumbullmetroparks.org, as is a map of the proposed route, the project plan and a feasibility study.

“Most of the property that needs to be acquired is commercially owned and has been vacant for around 30 years,” Svette said.

The route will pick up where the Warren trail ends at Burton Street SE and go south, loosely following Pine Avenue SE as it turns into Warren Avenue, following an abandoned railroad, going through abandoned industrial properties, until it reaches Niles, where it will follow some city streets to a railroad line, cross two bridges and end at the Niles Trail Head by the Central Park Apartments.

To ensure the decision-making process is comprehensive, Svette is seeking comments from the public about the social, environmental and economic impacts of this proposed project. Environmental impacts include those involving archeological, architectural and ecological resources, regulated materials and the general location of the project.

The Trumbull County engineer also requests information regarding the presence of any known cultural resources in the vicinity of the project including prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, historic bridges, historic buildings, landmarks and districts.

Comments regarding the environmental impacts and the final alignment may be submitted by Feb. 9 to Svette, by mail to Trumbull County MetroParks, 185 E. Market St., 2nd Floor, Warren, OH 44481, by phone at 330-675-3072 or email at mpsvette@co .trumbull.oh.us.

Svette is seeking about $500,000 for the last leg of the Trumbull connection from the state capital budget and a state bike trail grant. Already, $2.6 million has been secured from federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds to complete the four-mile stretch. And about $18 million will have been spent on the Trumbull portion of the trail when it is all finished, Svette said — all state and federal money.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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