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City to seek grants money for bike path

The city of Springfield is expected to apply for a $450,000 state grant for Little Miami Scenic Trail construction to get more people to use the bike path.

Officials have received about $1.4 million in federal funds and plan to apply for $450,000 in additional money from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund to move part of the Little Miami Scenic Trail off the road, Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee Planner Louis Agresta said.

Agresta said officials hope the nearly $1.7 million project boosts ridership along a south side section of the trail that currently is not contiguous.

“We lose ridership because people get lost, because the trail is fragmented,” Agresta said. “This project will make it a dedicated trail from Cincinnati to Urbana and hopefully change that negative perception. One mile south of Beatty (Station) is more popular than north of Beatty. People don’t want to go (along that route) and the hope is that we’ll see that gap fall.”

TCC approved a resolution Friday in support of the city’s plans to apply for money

City commissioners are expected to vote to submit the grant application Jan. 22.

If approved, construction would likely begin in August or September and the project could be completed by November 2015, TCC Director Scott Schmid said.

The multiuse trail weaves through streets on the south side of Springfield, including along Yellow Springs Street between Leffel Lane and John Street.

The goal is for the project is to have one dedicated corridor for the 1.2-mile stretch that begins from underneath I-70 to John Street and Johnny Lytle to Fair Street.

Springfield officials are expected to begin acquiring right of way for the project later this year, Agresta said.

He also said cost of acquiring right-of-way for the project is about $150,000.

Agresta said officials anticipate grants covering construction will exceed the total cost of the project.

He said remaining funds could be used for other aspects of the project or used to fund other transportation projects in the area.

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