Metro Parks ready to build next chunk of Camp Chase trail

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014.

Bridge over the freeway will be a little longer than a football field

Metro Parks is to spend $2.9 million for the next link of the Camp Chase multiuse trail — a 1-mile section between Hall Road and Sullivant Avenue that crosses over I-270.

The Metro Parks board awarded the contract to the Righter Co. yesterday.

The park district received $1.98 million from the federal government for the project, including $135,000 that was spent last year to put in a bridge pier. The bridge over the freeway will be a little longer than a football field.

The park board also approved spending an additional $289,951 with H.R. Gray for construction administration and inspection.

The work is expected to begin by the end of June and be completed by the end of the year, said Steve Brown, chief landscape architect for Metro Parks.

Two additional sections that will complete the trail also are underway, Brown said. Work on the section between Alton and Galloway roads should wrap up this summer. And the final 2-mile section between Galloway and Hall roads should be completed by the end of the year or early next year.

Catherine Girves, executive director of the bicycling-advocacy group Yay Bikes, is looking forward to the day the trail is fully open. She said she expects people will use it to bike to work, as many do now on the Olentangy Trail.

“It opens up the ability to travel,” Girves said. “Folks who are not comfortable riding the roads, they use the trail system to get to other places. It’s not just about getting Downtown and back.”

Metro Parks already has built 8.4 miles of the planned 11.4-mile trail between Wilson Road in Madison County and near Galloway Road in Franklin County.

The entire project will cost an estimated $10 million to $11 million, Brown said. The trail runs along the Camp Chase Railroad and is a  key section in the 330-mile Ohio to Erie Trial that will link Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

Yesterday, the board also approved spending $1.3 million for roads, parking lots and utilities in  Rocky Fork Metro Park, which covers more than 1,000 acres north of New Albany. Trucco Construction got that contract.

An additional $443,506 was approved for a family shelter and restroom at the park. Charter Hill Construction won that contract.

Brown said the work will be done off Walnut Street east of Bevelhymer Road. Metro Parks was able to move forward with the work after the park district approved an amended agreement with Columbus, New Albany and Plain Township last year that committed $5.25 million in additional funding over five years to pay for land and facilities.

The district plans to build trails and a dog park along with the other improvements.

Also announced at yesterday’s meeting was the name of the new Metro Park in southern Franklin County along the Scioto River near Grove City. It will be called Scioto Grove, Metro Parks spokeswoman Peg Hanley said.