Easements are next step for Western Reserve Greenway

Staff report


Trumbull County commissioners have authorized the mailing of letters to five property owners along the planned path of Phase 3 of the Western Reserve Greenway that seek to acquire easements for the trail.

Phase 3 will travel south from Champion Avenue in Champion Township near Research Parkway to the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office at North River Road in Warren — about two miles.

The Warren part of the trail picks up across North River Road from the engineer’s office.

Unlike earlier phases of the trail, the railroad tracks along the bike trail will not be removed for this phase, said Zach Svette, project coordinator for the Trumbull County MetroParks Board, which will run the trail. Instead, the trail will be built just west of the tracks.

The county owns some of the land that will be used for Phase 3. The other entities are Kent State University, the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. and Economic Development Rail II Corp. — all quasigovernment entities.

The entities involved are supportive of the project, and he’s hopeful acquiring the easements will go smoothly, Svette said.

If the entities take action as expected, the county commissioners could award construction bids by early 2014, and the trail could be ready to use by late 2014, officials say.

When Phase 3 is complete, only one portion of the Trumbull County part of the trail will remain incomplete — an area from the southern Warren limits traveling through Weathersfield Township to downtown Niles.

The Western Reserve Greenway is part of the Great Ohio Lake-To-River Greenway, which eventually will travel 100 miles from Lake Erie in Ashtabula to the Ohio River at East Liverpool.

Officials are planning for that phase, but it is years away. Warren and Niles recently completed trails through their communities.

The last phase the county completed was Phase 2 in 2004. It runs from state Route 305 in Champion south to Champion Avenue in Champion.

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