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Public comment sought on last leg of bike trail

WARREN — Members of the public have another chance to weigh in on the last leg of Trumbull County’s portion of the Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail.

Although comments were open at the beginning of the year until February, comments have opened again to discuss the impact along the route as part of the environmental process, said Zachary Svette, executive director of Trumbull County MetroParks.

The scope and location of the route have not changed, Svette said.

Construction of the trail, which will join sections in Niles and Warren, is expected in late 2021 and early 2022, Svette said. Thus far, the COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to dimpact the project.

The bike trail will span about 100 miles from Lake Erie in Ashtabula down to the Ohio River in Columbiana County once completed. So far, about 75 miles are completed.

Svette said MetroParks has not yet started to acquire about 22 acres of trail and right-away property from 17 property owners along the path.

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.

About 3.5 miles of concrete path will be built, traveling over two railroad bridges and new culverts.

During project construction, access to the existing Warren Bikeway on the north side of Burton Street will be partially restricted for a maximum of seven days to connect the Western Reserve Greenway to the Warren Bikeway.

Comments regarding the project, including environmental impact, right-of-way acquisition and access limitations during construction may be submitted by May 14 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.

About $18 million will have been spent on the Trumbull portion of the trail when it is all finished, Svette said, noting it is all state and federal money.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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