Pedestrian Bridge Placed at Licking Greenway & Trails in Covington
Mon, 05/21/2018 - 07:34 RCN Newsdesk
With a crane operator's deft touch and the helping hands of construction workers waiting to guide it into place, a metal pedestrian bridge was lowered gently into its position on the Licking River floodwall on Friday, creating an important new link in a scenic recreation trail being built in Covington.
The brightly colored bridge will allow hikers traveling the paved portion of the Licking River Greenway & Trails (LRG) to cross over 16th Street as it cuts through the floodwall into the parking lot of Rizzo Brothers Inc., a painting contractor whose campus is tucked against the river.
The bridge is part of Phase II and III of the LRG, which brings thousands of nature and outdoors recreation enthusiasts to the city's eastern edge to walk on one of its diverse trails.
"The bridge is needed both to keep hikers safe and to keep from blocking Rizzo's traffic," said Rosie Santos, Parks & Recreation Manager for the city. "It's critical to creating a seamless path."
Workers from Dudley Construction attached the bridge to its concrete anchors on Friday. Dudley has the $581,881 construction contract for Phase II and III of the LRG, which is now under way.
The LRG has both a paved portion atop the floodwall and a graveled portion closer to the river that winds its way through a narrow stretch of woods.
The current phase will extend the paved portion from Clayton-Meyer Park at the end of Thomas Street north to Randolph Park, which lies between East 8th and East 10thstreets. It will also add access points at Austinburg Park (at 15th and Eastern) and at Randolph.
"After working for a couple of years on planning and fund-raising, it feels good to break ground on this section of the trail," Santos said. "This section is the backbone of the system, improving connectivity and accessibility to more residents of different abilities."
Construction should be finished in late summer or early fall, Santos said.
Funding was provided by federal Community Development Block Grant funds, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the state Department for Local Government, Vision 2015/Skyward, and Interact for Health.
A side benefit of Phase II and III of the LRG is that it creates a safer route for kids from the Eastside and Austinburg neighborhoods to walk or bike to school at Holmes High School and Middle School, Santos said.
The LRG is part of a long-range plan to leverage Covington's natural assets - woods, rivers and a creek - to create a hub for urban outdoor recreation that involves everything from canoeing to hiking and biking.
The Licking River Greenway was originally designed to run for more than 12 miles, connecting the cities of Covington and Taylor Mill and Newport and Wilder along both sides of the Licking River.
Covington, where the trail is furthest along, boasts 1.5 miles of nature trail, 0.75 miles of paved trail and 2.5 miles of trail utilizing sidewalk and road infrastructure. Eventually the City hopes to connect the LRG to Riverfront Commons (a walkway planned for the Ohio riverfront) and to its extensive hiking and biking trails in Devou Park.