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Mayor: Public meeting ‘overall very positive’

The Tribune/Dustin Melchior A public meeting about a proposed shared walking and bike trail on the Ironton riverfront was attended by many residents who asked questions and shared ideas. Construction on this phase of the trail should begin in July of 2015.

The Tribune/Dustin Melchior
A public meeting about a proposed shared walking and bike trail on the Ironton riverfront was attended by many residents who asked questions and shared ideas. Construction on this phase of the trail should begin in July of 2015.

The city of Ironton had a public meeting on Monday to share plans and take comments about a proposed riverfront shared walking and bike trail.

Rich Blankenship, Ironton mayor, said nearly 30 people came to the meeting at different points throughout the day and residents’ response was “overall very positive.”

“We are required to have a public meeting to gather ideas on the trails and bike path,” Blankenship said. “People asked a lot of good questions and offered some great ideas.”

Some questions posed at the meeting were about the capability to exercise along the trail, proper lighting and walkers and bikers crossing Second Street at Storms Creek.

“Every question was a good question and what this meeting did was show everyone involved in this that the public does have interest in the project,” Blankenship said. “We will look at any and all concerns and address them accordingly.”

The project is being developed by the city in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission. The finished trail will run from the Transit Center on Second Street, pass through the existing floodwall opening and continue west to the North Second Street Bridge over Storms Creek.

“The design should be complete over the winter and we plan to begin construction in July of next year,” Blankenship said. “We will also begin construction in the marina at the same time. We had drawings of the complete riverfront development project so people could get an idea of what we are trying to do.”

Four grants are in place for the overall project and the bicycle and walking trail is progressing because of $100,000 in grant money administered through the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s (ODNR) NatureWorks program.