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Olentangy Trail Updates: Detour, Widening and Bridge Plans

Brent Warren Brent Warren Olentangy Trail Updates: Detour, Widening and Bridge PlansPhoto by Brent Warren.
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A portion of the Olentangy Trail will be closed from May 13 to July 12 as construction work ramps up on Founders Park, the 20-acre development on former Battelle parking lots in Harrison West.

The trail will be closed between West Fifth and West Third Avenues, where users will be detoured east to a separated pathway along Perry Street.

Map courtesy of Central Ohio Greenways.

In other Olentangy Trail news, Columbus City Council approved funding earlier this week for a series of improvements in the Bethel Road area.

The trail will be widened from nine to 12 feet, from Antrim Lake to the spot where Bethel Road dead-ends into State Route 315. A new ramp will then connect the trail to the bridge over the freeway, where a separated path will provide access to the Central Ohio Transit Authority Park and Ride lot at Anheuser Busch Sports Park.

Meanwhile, a second major Olentangy Trail improvement – new bike and pedestrian bridges that will help to close a gap in the trail around West North Broadway in Clintonville – has taken an important step forward in the planning process.

Brian Hoyt, Communications & Marketing Manager for the city’s Recreation and Parks department, confirmed that the project has been approved to receive federal grant money that will cover as much as 80 percent of its cost.

He said that design work on the project won’t start until this fall, with opportunities for public input in early 2020. Construction is currently scheduled to start in 2021.

The proposal, which CU first reported on last summer, would take the trail over two new bridges and onto the west side of the river for about a half mile. Trail users would no longer have to navigate city streets, as they do now, and the new alignment would provide access to the new Ohio Health headquarters, as well as to other businesses and residents along the Olentangy River Road corridor. 

Finally, a press event was held today to unveil the preferred route through Central Ohio for the Great American Rail Trail, which will utilize portions of the Alum Creek, Scioto, Downtown Connector and Camp Chase trails.

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