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Upgrades to Olentangy Trail to Include New Connection to Bethel Road

Brent Warren Brent Warren Upgrades to Olentangy Trail to Include New Connection to Bethel RoadMap courtesy of Columbus Recreation and Parks.
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Two major upgrades are planned for the Olentangy Trail: one that will widen a large section of the trail and another that will connect it to Bethel Road for the first time.

The trail will be widened from nine to 12 feet starting at Antrim Lake and continuing south to the spot where Bethel Road dead-ends into State Route 315. The idea is to relieve some of the congestion along the trail, which Columbus Recreation and Parks describes as the busiest in the state.

The second project calls for a ramp that will connect the trail to the existing bridge over the freeway, where a path (separated from car traffic) will continue across the bridge. The path would then run south along Olentangy River Road to Anheuser Busch Sports Park.

The park, which is home to a recreation center and softball fields — as well as a Central Ohio Transit Authority park and ride lot — would then also serve as a de facto trailhead for nearby residents looking for access to the Olentangy Trail.

Work on the two improvement projects is not scheduled to start until the spring of 2019, but it has been on the wish list of Brad Westall, the city’s Greenways Planner, for some time.

“This one is long overdue,” he said, “there are limited options now for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Bringing the trail across the freeway and to the park is just the first step in a larger vision, according to Westall.

“There are thousands of residents and employees all along Bethel Road to the west, and it’s been totally designed for cars,” he said, “but we’re hopeful that eventually we can get a separated path along that entire Bethel corridor.”

Additional Reading: Off-Street Trail Planned for Franklinton, Souder Avenue Bridge

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