I get questions from time to time asking when the final stretch of the bike path will be completed between Middletown and Franklin.
The City has secured funding to complete the final section of the Great Miami River Trail from the current endpoint near the intersection of SR 73 and Breiel Blvd. to the Middletown/Franklin city limits. The project will be done in conjunction with the City of Franklin who will complete their final section of the trail from the Middletown/Franklin city limits to Baxter Dr.
The project consist of constructing 7,400 feet (1.4 miles) of ten foot wide bike path. 3,200 feet (0.6 miles) in Middletown and 4,200 feet (0.8 miles) in Franklin. The total cost is estimated at $1.74 million. Middletown’s share is about $684,000. We have secured a grant for $546,800 to partially fund our share through OKI’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program. The funding is programmed for fiscal year 2020. The City of Franklin will receive a CMAQ grant to fund a portion of their share as well.
The grant funding is only available in 2020, which means if we want the path completed more quickly, the City would need to come up with the additional half million dollars to complete our side of the project. Given other more pressing needs in paving, we intend to wait for OKI to help us out.
One of the major challenges with this final section is the need for a large retaining wall due to the drop off from State Route 73 to the river. The required retaining wall will be 700 feet in length and up to seven feet high. The estimated cost of the retaining wall is $900,000. More than half of the $1.74 million total project cost.
When finished in 2020, this project will complete the Great Miami River Trail through Middletown and Franklin and connects the trail north to Piqua in Miami County and to over 150 miles of existing trails in southwest Ohio.