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Wadsworth applies for grant to fund multi-use trail system

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WADSWORTH — The city is working on ways to fund its multimodal transportation plan, beginning with multipurpose trails.

Economic Development Director Harry Stark said the city administration is finalizing a grant application to the Clean Ohio Fund for approximately $540,000 to partially fund a system of regional multipurpose trails. Stark said he couldn’t estimate what the total project would cost at this time.

“This grant application is just one step in this project,” he said Thursday. “It won’t pay for the whole trail, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

The grant would pay for the design, elements and installation of the trails. The application is due next week, and the city should find out whether it will receive funding by April, Stark said.

The multipurpose trails would connect Wadsworth’s downtown commercial corridor to regional destinations such as Barberton and Summit County Metroparks’ Silver Creek Park. It would be suitable for basic to experienced bicyclists, according to the city’s multimodal transportation plan.

A Friends of the Trails group also is being founded by City Council to help find ways to fund the trails, he said.

“Putting in this trail is not going to happen overnight, but we needed to try to find some funding because the city doesn’t have money to put in the trail, so we need to find money wherever we can to implement the trail,” he said.

When complete, the multipurpose trail would have four segments that travel along the Ohio Edison Railway, also known as the old interurban line.

The first would begin in downtown Wadsworth and end in Miller Park, traveling past Franklin Elementary School. The second segment would go through Miller Park to Durling Drive and the third from Durling Drive to Silvercreek Road. From there, the fourth segment of the trail would continue to South Medina Line Road.

There are several options for trail design, including off-road trails; trails adjoining existing roadways, which would be buffered by trees and green space; trails that share the roadway; and bike lanes that are combined with the sidewalk.

The multimodal transportation plan also lays out ideas for expanding public transportation in the city and improving the city parking lot at Mills Street and Watrusa Avenue.

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@medina-gazette.com.



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