Lebanon receives federal funding for Bowman multi-use path

Map of proposed Lebanon Bowman Trail that recently received $750,000 in federal funding through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF LEBANON
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Map of proposed Lebanon Bowman Trail that recently received $750,000 in federal funding through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF LEBANON

A federal Transportation Alternatives grant recently awarded to Lebanon will give the city a huge step forward in building a bike loop through the city.

Scott Brunka, Lebanon city manager, said the city received a $750,000 Transportation Alternatives grant through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments for the project. OKI awarded nearly $54 million in various federal grants for 26 projects in the region.

Brunka said the federal grant will go toward the construction of the Bowman Multi-Use Trail that is expected to cost about $1.5 million. He said the city will be pursuing a state Clean Ohio fund grant to cover the project’s local costs. The application for the project was submitted to OKI on May 19.

“The next step is to begin the design of the project,” Brunka said. “This essentially takes us a big step forward to create the bike loop. When we put out residential or business surveys, the trails are usually the top 1-2 amenities that are wanted by the community.”

This project involves the construction of a new multi-use trail in the city of Lebanon from Mound Street just south of Main Street up to Monroe Road. The bulk of the project will follow the old Cincinnati, Lebanon, and Northern Railway railbed, which is currently in a heavily wooded area.

Officials said this old railway has been abandoned for decades and the city wants to convert it to expand the connectivity of their trail network. The project length is approximately 1.66 miles. A protected pedestrian/bike signal crossing beacon will be installed for the mid-block trail crossing on Main Street. Brunka said the beacon is actuated when someone wants to cross the road

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In the application, City Engineer Dana Bicknell said the project creates another route for pedestrians and bicyclists to use when traversing to the northeast part of Lebanon. “The city has an extensive trail network with plans for even more connectivity in the future and this project accomplishes that goal,” he said.

About 10% of the project is replacement and 90% is expansion of the trail system, city officials said. While the bulk of the project is constructing a new trail along the old roadbed, there will be some improvements made at the connections to existing roadways at Monroe, Mound, and Walnut streets, as well as the crossing of Main Street, officials said. The improvements to existing facilities, like ramps, however, are a small part of the project.

An existing railroad bridge will be rehabbed to be a feature of the trail, as it has unique aesthetic appeal and the city doesn’t want to just demolish it and build a new box culvert.

“Unanimously, the OKI board has delivered a nearly $54 million infrastructure package that will enhance a number of areas throughout our eight-county region,” said David Painter, OKI president and Clermont County commissioner. “Today’s awards are a major investment in our multi-modal transportation network. These projects will improve mobility and safety for drivers, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians. And, they will raise the quality of life for our citizens.”

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