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Anderson hike/bike path near finish line - Cincinnati Area

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Old November 16th 06, 01:17 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc,rec.bicycles.rides
Garrison Hilliard
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Default Anderson hike/bike path near finish line - Cincinnati Area

Anderson hike/bike path near finish line
Bridge goes up; opening in spring

ANDERSON TWP. - The construction of the township's 2-mile-long hike/bike path
from Five Mile Road and Clough Pike to Newtown Road near Turpin High School has
reached a critical stage.

At the trail's midpoint, an 18-foot-high bridge that's more than 200 feet long
is being built over Hunley Road near Royal Green Drive.

"This is the final link that will tie the two pieces of the trail together,"
said Richard Shelley, the township's public works director.

The path, called the Five Mile Trail, will form the backbone of seven miles of
sidewalks the township has built in recent years to connect subdivisions to each
other and to schools and other public buildings. It also will enable some
residents to ride bikes to the recently constructed Metro bus transit
park-and-ride station at Anderson Center and take buses to work.

The Anderson Center, at Five Mile Road north of the Anderson Towne Center, is
where the township is building a lake and administration building that will
contain a performing arts auditorium.

The bridge is one of the most expensive parts of the project.

Shelley estimates its construction makes up about 30 percent of the project's
$2.2 million cost.

Grants are paying about $1 million of the cost, while township tax increment
financing revenue pays the rest. Tax increment financing is revenue set aside
from increased property values for public improvements.

Township Administrator Henry Dolive stopped at the bridge construction site on
Hunley Road this week to take photos of a crane lifting beams into place.

"We're pleased to see the project taking these big steps," Dolive said.

The bike trail, which is supervised by the Ohio Department of Transportation,
has involved years of planning. The first grant to fund this project was
announced in 2000, and construction didn't begin until last April. It will open
next spring.

"Now we're seeing the results," Dolive said. "We're all very excited about it."

Some people have been so attracted by the uncompleted hike/bike trail that
they've already started using the trail. But for safety reasons, township
officials ask people to stay off the trail until it opens next spring. "We have
to keep asking people not to go on the trail," Dolive said. "It's especially
dangerous with the bridge construction going on."

Jean Neal-Mahan, who lives on Royal Green Drive near Hunley Road, said the
hike-bike trail will be an asset to the township and should increase the value
of houses nearby.

At 69, Neal-Mahan said she won't be doing any bike riding on the trail when it
opens, but her 13-year-old granddaughter will.

"She has a $300 bike in the garage and is just waiting to ride it on the bike
trail," she said.

"It's hard for her to ride her bike on these streets with the steep hills."



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