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Licking River Greenway & Trails to Move Farther South to Latonia

The Licking River Greenway & Trail will officially move farther south into Latonia, with minimal construction work needed.

The first phase of the recreational trail, a mix of gravel and paved trails that run from Randolph Park to Holmes High School along the Licking River, will now extend the length of Eastern Avenue south to James Avenue, then to Decoursey.

At Decoursey, the new trail will split pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians will take a more visually pleasing stroll through Latonia that includes Church Street and sights like Holy Cross Church. Cyclists will continue along Decoursey.

"This is going to continue to make Covington a bike-friendly community because we are going to institute a share-the-road and public relations pieces that you may have cyclists on some of our roads now," said Natalie Gardner, director of special projects at City Hall. "This is a minimal cost to add two more miles to the Licking River Greenway with essentially zero cost, which is a huge benefit."

The cost is lower and less labor intensive than the first phase because there will be no volunteer days needed to clear brush from the riverside or to pour gravel and concrete. The existing sidewalks and roads in Latonia will be made part of the trail.

"Once you hit Holmes, we run out of riverbank to utilize," Gardner said. "From there until past Twin Oaks, the city doesn't own any of the property anymore." Instead, the riverfront property is owned by private businesses and residents or the railroad company. The original plan for the Licking River Greenway & Trail called for the use of existing sidewalks and roads at this location.

The Covington City Commission on Tuesday approved the plan and now the city will work with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to place share-the-road arrows, or sharrows, on Decoursey Avenue, as well as the installation of wayfinding signage.

The Licking River Greenway & Trails is an ambitious effort to create an urban greenway from the mouth of the Licking River to the Interstate 275 loop. When complete, it will run through Covington and Taylor Mill on the western side of the river and Wilder and Newport on the Eastern side. Wilder has recently begun work on its portion of the paved trails.

The effort includes the cities as is managed by myNKY.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Licking River Greenway & Trails entrance/RCN file