Final phase of Warren bike trail shaping up
Work on the $1.73 million second phase of the Warren bike trail in the central part of the city is under way and likely to be complete in late spring.
By Ed Runyan
Work on the $1.73 million second phase of the Warren bike trail in the central part of the city is under way and likely to be complete in late spring. It traverses about three-quarters of a mile.
The project runs from South Street Southeast to Elm Road Northeast, crossing East Market Street near ValleyCare Trumbull Memorial Hospital, traveling across a railroad bridge that is being rebuilt at a cost of $467,000 and emerging onto city streets near Warren G. Harding High School.
Federal funds are paying for it.
It completes the 3.9-mile Warren section of the trail, which is part of the 100-mile Great Ohio Lake-To-River Greenway.
Much of the trail, which eventually will carry riders and walkers from Ashtabula to East Liverpool, is complete.
As with the part of the Niles trail completed last year, this phase travels through residential and commercial areas of Warren, and one of its most notable features is the restoration of a railroad bridge.
The bridge is just south of the high school and needs a new deck, was raised about two feet, will be sanded and restored, and will have a retaining wall and landscaping features added to the steep banks of the trail.
Improvements also are being made to a nearby culvert that runs under the trail.
Lots of dirt is being moved to create a new right turn at the end of the bridge so the trail can cross Woodland Avenue Northeast and pass through the rear of the A&B Unfinished Furniture store on Elm Road, and emerge onto Elm Road beside A&B.
From there it will continue on completed sections of the trail on Paige Avenue Northeast toward the former Delphi Packard Electric facilities.
Some of the properties the city needed to acquire to run the project through the neighborhood near Harding are still in ligitation, but the construction can proceed anyway, said Paul Makosky, Warren city engineer.
The path will cross East Market Street just east of Charles Avenue at the “high point” of East Market Street, Makosky said.
Using the high point should help with visibility, helping motorists see bicyclists and pedestrians as they cross the four lanes of traffic at Market Street.
The intersection carries 16,200 vehicles per day, making it one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city, according to a traffic count.
Signage for motorists and bike/pedestrian traffic will be installed on Market Street and the bike trail, and pavement markings will be placed on the East Market Street pavement, according to engineering drawings.
The trail pavement is likely to be among the last parts of the project, because the plants that produce the asphalt don’t reopen until May, Makosky said.
Vanessa White, whose house is close to the Charles Street portion of the trail, said last week she is excited to see something coming to her neighborhood that will give her kids, and the many other neighborhood children, nice recreational opportunities.
From Market Street, the trail will travel beside Charles Avenue one block, then follow the railroad bed to the new bridge and provide convenient access to Harding.
“It’s cool that our kids won’t have to ride around on the streets,” she said. “It’s good for them to get out and do physical activity.”
White, who said she grew up in the city, noted that the Charles Avenue area is among those that have abandoned homes.
“It’s kind of a destitute city. It’s nice to see them taking down houses, especially on this side of town. They’re doing something positive.”
A letter writer to a local newspaper recently thanked the city for the improvements to Northend Park made when the city built the first phase of the bike trail.
The park, just west of North Park Avenue, has parking spaces, a pavilion, restrooms, drinking fountain and lots of green spaces.
“It’s really a treasure to behold,” Michael Adkins wrote. “My wife and I have been living one street over from the park; we can see it from our back yard. For 27 years, we’ve lived in the same area where our children grew up. Our kids played at the old Northend Park, and now our grandsons can enjoy the new Northend Park. It is truly amazing.”