By Ed Runyan
City council has approved legislation that allows Warren to acquire, through eminent domain if necessary, the last parcels of land needed to complete the second phase of the Warren Greenway bike trail through the central part of the city.
Most of the northernmost and southernmost parts of Warren’s trail were completed last year.
When complete, the trail will be 3.9 miles long in Warren, entering the city at North River Road near Glunt Manufacturing, traveling south through North End Park and onto Paige Avenue Northeast, crossing East Market Street near Trumbull Memorial Hospital and exiting the city near Thomas Road.
The second phase uses mostly city streets near Harding High School south to the hospital.
The Warren Greenway will be one of the most urban parts of the 100-mile Great Ohio Lake-To-River Greenway. Much of the trail from Ashtabula to East Liverpool already is complete.
Some of the largest expense involved in Warren’s Phase 2 project is in restoration of a former railroad bridge just south of Woodland Avenue Northeast, creation of a retaining wall along a steep embankment and improvement of a stone culvert, said Paul Makosky, city engineer.
The $1.5 million second phase is expected to be under construction by the end of the summer and is likely to be completed by the end of the year, Makosky said.
The project needs to be under contract by September in order to use the 100-percent federal funding the city was awarded, Makosky said.
The legislation mentions six parcels the city needs to acquire. The city has reached agreement with the owners of 11 other parcels.
Of the six remaining, some could result in litigation, but the legislation allows the city to award the project and begin construction, with the legal issues associated with the land to be worked out later, Makosky said.
“This is what we need to move our project forward,” Makosky said. “It’s a matter of protecting tax dollars. We have willing sellers,” but the city and some of the sellers were not able to agree on a price.