By Ed Runyan
After years of delays in getting funding to pay for it, the Trumbull County commissioners and Trumbull County MetroParks are finally prepared to seek bids for construction of the third phase of the Western Reserve Greenway.
This phase will run from Champion Avenue East near Research Parkway south to connect with the Warren Greenway at North River Road.
Commissioners are likely to be asked at next week’s board meeting to advertise for construction bids for the nearly 2-mile Phase 3, said Zach Svette, project coordinator for the MetroParks.
At today’s meeting, the commissioners are expected to authorize another preliminary step — approving the placement of advertisments seeking letters of qualification for a company to handle construction inspection for the job.
Most of the roughly $2 million that will be spent to build the third phase will come from a U.S. Department of Transportation grant with some matching money coming from the state, Svette said.
Construction is likely to begin this October, with completion likely in the spring of 2015.
Svette said the federal government gave a verbal OK to move forward with the project earlier this week after reviewing plans.
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.
Officials are planning for that phase, but it is years away. Warren and Niles recently completed trails through their communities.
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.
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.