Lebanon moving forward on bike path to finish a loop around city

The project isn’t scheduled for construction until 2025, but Lebanon City Council is expected to approve a professional services agreement Tuesday with Choice One Engineering to design construction plans and specifications for the Bowman Multi-Use Trail.

Jason Millard, city development director, said the “project involves the construction of a new 1.6-mile multi-use trail from Mound Street just south of Main Street up to Monroe Road.”

The contract amount for the engineering services will be $196,659, and the project’s estimated construction costs are about $1.6 million, according to a staff report prepared by Millard.

He said the bulk of the project will follow the old Cincinnati, Lebanon, and Northern Railway rail bed. The new trail corridor will provide an eastern loop connection from the Lebanon Countryside Trail to the newly constructed bike trail on Monroe Road.

The project’s design services will be funded through the city’s Capital Improvement Fund and the Parks and Recreation Impact Fee Fund, Millard’s report said.

The city has already received a $750,000 Transportation Alternatives grant through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Government/Ohio Department of Transportation. City Manager Scott Brunka said the city is planning to apply for a Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant in 2023 for this project.

Council expects to approve this ordinance as an emergency measure to allow the design to begin immediately in coordination with the Ohio Department of Transportation project guidelines associated with the grant.

Millard said the city initially entered into negotiations with another design firm for this project but was unable to agree on a fee. He said Choice One has provided quality plans in past dealings with the city.

Brunka said this will expand the paved trail network inside Lebanon to nearly 10 miles. He said the new trail is included in the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan as well as the Lebanon/Turtlecreek Twp. Trail Initiative.

“This trail was recommended in city plans,” he said. “The trail loop gives residents access to trails east of Columbus Avenue and south of Monroe Street. Part of the overall plan is to connect residential and commercial areas of the city to a trail network.”

While the Lebanon Countryside bike trail is already under construction, Brunka said the next project will be eliminating the current bike lane on North Broadway and expanding the sidewalk on the east side to include a bike trail.

The bike path’s southern extension will continue from the path on Deerfield Road in front of the Countryside YMCA, south to East Turtlecreek Union Road. The trail will be extended east on Turtlecreek Union, across Ohio 48 to the Atrium Bike Park. Another section of the trail will be constructed on Cornett Road between East Turtlecreek Union Road and Forge Drive. The southern extension will also link Lebanon to other bike trails in Mason, as well as to the Little Miami River.

Brunka said the goal of the city is provide bike and trail connectivity for the subdivisions east of Bypass 48 that are cut off because of the highway.

Brunka said the city received a $900,000 federal grant through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments in late 2019. Lebanon has agreed to provide ODOT $434,265 from those funds for the city’s share of the project — money that City Council budgeted for in 2022, according to Brunka.

City officials said the opportunity to work with ODOT was due to plans to replace the Turtlecreek Union Road bridge over the Ohio 48 Bypass. Brunka said ODOT will be raising the height of the bridge so that it conforms to height standards.

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