POLAND Segment of trail is nearly complete

The path will give patrons safe passage under the state Route 170 bridge to the new public library.
POLAND -- This village is well on the way to becoming more walker friendly as a pedestrian path takes shape along Yellow Creek.
Construction is nearly completed on first phase of the path -- a 2,000-foot section at the new Poland Public Library -- as the library is to be dedicated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday by Gov. Bob Taft.
A contract must be awarded for construction of the remainder of the sand and gravel path by July 1 of next year, village engineer Gary Diorio told the village's ISTEA committee Monday evening. ISTEA is an acronym for the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation and Environment Act, which encourages alternative forms of transportation to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.
Route plans: "The route for this path is still not firm from beginning to end. It's pretty firm for parts of it," said Rebecca Rogers, ISTEA committee chairwoman. Plans call for it to run down Yellow Creek from Walker Meadow to Riverside Drive or to the village limits, giving it a total length of up to 31/2 miles, she said.
Village council gave a $32,000 grant to the library for construction of its section of the path last month after library officials said they wanted that section to be completed as the new building opens.
The path, which will pass under the state Route 170 bridge, will allow pedestrians safe passage to the library without having to cross the road, Rogers observed.
The total cost is estimated at $185,000, of which $150,000 is for construction and $35,000 is for design, engineering and other costs. The Ohio Department of Transportation will pay 80 percent and the village 20 percent, plus engineering and design costs.
Support: The path enjoys the unanimous support of the Poland Municipal Forest Board, part of whose trail network it will likely use, and of the Friends of Poland Forest, a citizen advocacy group for the forest.
ISTEA committee members walked the proposed path with ODOT officials Oct. 22. ODOT officials said wetland preservation will be a major concern when the path is built, Diorio told the committee.

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