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Canfield Township closer to bike trail connector

CANFIELD — Canfield Township is getting closer to making a connection from the township park on Herbert Road to the Mill Creek MetroPark’s bike trail.

The $496,980 project is already approved for two hefty grants.

“We already have an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant for $195,867 and a TAP (Transportation Alternative Program) grant for $199,300,” said township Trustee Marie Cartwright in a recent presentation. “The township is in the process of obtaining additional funding to bridge the remaining gap.”

The trailhead of the new bike trail connector will start at the township park near the pavilion, will head south up the park’s hill into the Neff Family Farm property, then east through an easement crossing Mahoning County Career and Technical Center property, where it will finally connect to the Mill Creek MetroParks trail.

“The trail will be named the Robert and Maxine Neff Memorial Bike Trail,” township Administrator Keith Rogers said.

Easements have already been signed by the Neff family and MCCTC for the trail and the Neff Land Company has donated 6.5 acres for the project.

One of the big problems for the construction is one area that crosses a wetland. Rogers said a bridge will be needed and there would still be some wetland area that will have to be mitigated.

“I still have one more grant to apply for that would help with the bridge,” Rogers said. “There will be a township share, but that is not known yet.”

One program Rogers is looking at is having the MCCTC students design and build the bridge over the wetlands. In essence the students would be working in their own backyard at the school and could take pride in being a part of the design and construction of the bike trail connector.

“It would be great to see the students taking part,” Rogers said.

While there is still a lot of work to be done in preparation for the project, Rogers said the third grant should be announced over the summer months.

“We hope to get started in the spring of 2021,” he said.

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