Dayton seeks appraisal for rails-to-trails elevated bike path

The city of Dayton is seeking a new appraisal for 6.5 miles of rail line that travels from downtown to East Dayton, which the city wants to turn into an elevated bike path and public park.

The city is in negotiations with Norfolk Southern rail company to buy a rail line the company has abandoned that stretches from the eastern end of the former Garden Station site to the Tenneco property in Kettering.

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The city previously had an appraisal for the line that pegged its value at about $730,000. But Norfolk Southern has claimed the line is worth more than that.

The city this week is likely to approve hiring another firm to determine the line’s market value, based on a variety of factors, including location and market conditions. The appraisal is expected to take less than two months to complete.

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The city of Dayton is interested in transforming the line into an elevated bike path, similar to popular elevated rails-to-trails parks in New York City and Chicago.

The recreation trail would connect downtown to Inner East neighborhoods and would provide unique views of downtown and East Dayton since the rail line is elevated for several blocks and runs parallel to Third Street and U.S. 35 at spots.

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