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Off-Street Trail Planned for Franklinton, Souder Avenue Bridge

Brent Warren Brent Warren Off-Street Trail Planned for Franklinton, Souder Avenue BridgeA conceptual rendering of the Souder Avenue bridge, courtesy of Columbus Recreation and Parks.
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The City of Columbus is moving forward with plans for an off-street trail that would run north from the Mount Carmel campus in Franklinton to the Scioto River. The trail would then continue across the river on a new separated bike and pedestrian section of the Sounder Avenue bridge.

The new connection is part of a larger vision for the area — made up of several individual projects, each with different timelines — that the city is calling the Franklinton Loop Trail.

Brad Westall, Greenways Planner for the Recreation and Parks Department, said that work on designing the Souder Avenue bridge improvements and trail will start this year, with completion likely about two years off.

“At this point getting from Franklinton to the north without a car…can be fairly dangerous,” he said, although data collected by the city indicates that lots of people are biking or walking across the Souder bridge anyway — as many as 90,000 a year, in fact.

Recreation and Parks will be working with the Department of Public Service on the project, which will also involve improvements to Souder Avenue.

Another part of the broader Franklinton Loop plan calls for an elevated trail that would run along former rail the right-of-way from West Broad Street (just west of the Spaghetti Warehouse) to the existing path near the new River and Rich development.

The elevated section will be about 900 feet in length and, although it will run parallel to the other set of still-active tracks, it will be “separated by a full barrier,” according to Westall.

“Our goal is to get an easement and have this segment in place in the next five years,” he added.

Additional Reading: Upgrades to Olentangy Trail to Include New Connection to Bethel Road

The Franklinton Loop – #1 shows the Souder Avenue trail, and #6 the elevated trail (click here for full PDF version).

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