BARBERTON: City Council Monday adopted an ordinance appropriating $225,000 from the city’s general fund for the Towpath Bridge and Trailhead Connector Project.
A bridge will be built over the Tuscarawas River to connect the Towpath trail to downtown Barberton. This project, which began in 2007, will greatly benefit residents of the community, said Assistant Planning Director Joe Stefan.
Currently, the towpath trail spilt by watered canal on the west and the Tuscarawas River on the east from the city’s downtown.
Stefan hopes this new connection will bring more people into Barberton to see what the city has to offer.
“There are about 300,000 people who use our section of the Towpath yearly, so this is a real opportunity for us to bring towpath users from the north and south of Barberton into our downtown area,” said Mayor Bill Judge. “We have a beautiful downtown and we are working to enhance it, so we’re excited to have this bridge in place which will allow for better connectivity from the towpath to our downtown.”
The total cost of the project is budgeted at $557,193. While the $225,000 is coming from the city’s general fund, the rest of the money has come from local funds, civic donations, and other non-federal grants.
“Money was granted by the Magic City Kiwanis, Alcoa Barberton, Ohio & Erie canal Coalition, Metro Parks Serving Summit County and the Summit County Trail & Greenway,” Judge said. “This is a very important project with lots of sponsors who believe in the viability of this project.”
Next, the city must award a contract for the project to a construction company. The bridge is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.