This city is moving ahead with plans for a 45-acre bike park and trail network expected to cost more than $1.4 million.
On Tuesday, Lebanon City Council is expected to approve a $220,000 contract for construction of the Premier Health Bike Park atop the city’s abandoned landfill.
The city is also planning to support a $1.2 million extension and reconfiguration of the Lebanon Countryside YMCA Trail across the Ohio 48 bypass.
This extension is expected to provide non-motorized access to the region’s trail system of more than 340 miles to Lebanon residents on the east side of the Ohio 48 bypass.
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“They are two separate projects with two different time lines,” Councilwoman Wendy Monroe said. “They go hand in hand.”
Premier Health Bike Park
Bike Park sponsors include Atrium Medical Center and Atrium Medical Center Foundation.
”The Bike Park is another opportunity for Premier Health and Atrium Medical Center to achieve its mission and improve the health of the communities we serve along with our partners who share this commitment,” Michael Stautberg, president of Atrium Medical Center Foundation said in a written statement. “In this case, we’re proud to partner with the City of Lebanon to open a Bike Park that will provide Cincinnati-Dayton region residents a new way to live active lifestyles.”
Last week, the council met with Dave Huff, owner of Innovative Dirt Solutions, the Kentucky-based company hired to create the park, using materials including dirt, some of which is already piled on the property at the dead end of Turtlecreek-Union Road.
Around the world, former landfills have been converted to bike parks.
The former Lebanon landfill is vented and capped for environmental protection, according to EPA requirements.
“We’ll create all the contours to make the park look as non-landfill-like as possible,” said Huff. “You just can’t dig. You have to bring the dirt in.”
Through a non-profit, Huff built the England-Idlewild Bike Park in Burlington, Ky.
Other cities, including Dayton, have or are planning to open bike parks to encourage non-motorized transportation alternatives.
“The ones that are thriving have accessibility by multi-modal trails,” Huff said.
The plan for the Lebanon park includes pump tracks for beginners and more experienced riders, a jump line, a perimeter gravel trail and a network of mountain bike trails, as well as a cyclocross course for off-road racers.
RELATED: Cyclocross course planned in Lebanon
The park is expected to be the new home of competitive events, drawing entrants from around the country and globe and previously held at the former Kingswood Golf Course in Mason.
In addition, the park is expected to draw kids, riders and families from Lebanon and the area.
Parents can sit and watch, ride calmer sections or try their luck on more advanced amenities in the park.
“You can take someone that’s never ridden a bicycle or someone who’s been riding for years,” said Hill.
Neighbors have expressed concern.
Michael Dougherty, who lives in the area, has previously expressed concern about the potential for hazardous materials at the site and a change to a way of life for his family and neighbors.
RELATED: Bike park plan concerns neighbors
Assuming council passage on Tuesday, Huff said he would begin the park after the 4th of July.
“It’s going to be exciting. I’m looking forward to breaking ground.”
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Bike Network Extension
The plan to extend and reconfigure the city trail network is in part dependent on a grant for as much as $960,000 in federal funds through the Ohio Kentucky Regional Council of Governments.
It would extend the trail from the YMCA, across the Ohio 48 bypass, to the bike park and close to about 2,700 homes comprising neighborhoods east of the bypass and currently lacking a trail connection.
It includes rerouting a section off Deerfield Road, north of the Y, and improves “trail connectivity between the downtown and Little Miami Scenic Trail,” Deputy City Manager Scott Brunka said in a memo to city council.
The funding application deadline is June 30. The city expects to add $240,000, including funds a state grant and impact fees charged on new developments in the city, as well as donations.
It is among those Warren County projects being promoted for state and federal funds.
“This project will not only improve the quality of life for residents in Lebanon, but all of Warren County,” Chris Pozzuto, assistant city manager in Springboro and chair of the Warren County Chamber Alliance said in a letter to be used to show countywide support.
“The earliest that construction could commence is 2021,” Brunka said in the council memo, adding that “several easements” would still be needed to complete the project.
Once across the Ohio 48 Bypass, the trail would eventually continue into the Poplar Hill and Oak Forge neighborhoods.
“There’s always been a need to get to the other side of 48,” said Monroe, who lives in this part of Lebanon.