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Bike trail proposed for eastern Lawrence

CHESAPEAKE — Adding bicycle trails to a streetscape design for the Chesapeake-Braddick neighborhood is part of future plans to upgrade the eastern end of the county.

“We would like to develop an integrated trail system throughout the Tri-State and set aside for development a segment in the eastern end of the county for Chesapeake, Proctorville, Rome and around Ohio University up there,” Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said.

Right now plans to develop a bike trail in the city of Ironton are going forward for the section between Center Street and Stormes Creek.

Most of the funding for that would come from KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission and Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

KYOVA money could possibly fund the eastern end trails along with Community Development Block Grant funds.

“KYOVA has $1.1 million earmarked for walking trails and bike paths,” Lawrence Commission President Bill Pratt said. “It would require a two-year forecast and a two-year design phase.”

Right now the county is in the process of applying for $300,000 in CDBG to add and upgrade sidewalks along State Route 7 from Chesapeake to Bradrick for a streetscape project.

Then the county will apply for funding for the eastern bike trails in July 2014.

“It becomes more of a pedestrian, walkable community,” Pratt said. “A lot of people walk and depend on that. When you talk about neighborhood revitalization, you need to incorporate those things. We have to keep all of those components in place.”