Thursday, April 20, 2000

Tiff over bike trail aired today

Road plans upset some residents

BY Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — An attempt to settle a dispute involving a bike trail, a highway and 41,000 cubic yards of dirt will be made at 7:30 p.m. today at the Township Government Center, 7954 Beechmont Ave.

        About 500 residents who live close to a proposed bike and hike trail, stretching from the intersection of Five Mile Road and Clough Pike to Newtown Road, don't mind the trail, but are disturbed that dirt may be taken to build a highway in the future.

        Hamilton County Engineer William Brayshaw has included in the proposal that dirt from the bike trail could be taken as fill for the Wolfangel-Clough Pike intersection.

        Also, he wants to make an embankment for a highway in case it has to be built later.

"Strip-mining' decried
        Hamilton County commissioners have authorized taking the dirt, but said no highway will be built.

        Tom Caruso, a resident of Donnington Lane near the bike trail, doesn't like the idea.

        “We are opposed to the county and the township preparing a concrete foundation for the highway,” Mr. Caruso said. “This is strip-mining the area, and it destroys property values.”

The money factor
        Mr. Brayshaw said there is an economic advantage to taking the dirt along the bike trail, which would save about $500,000 on the Wolfangel-Clough Pike intersection improvement.

        Township trustee Russ Jackson agrees.

        “There are several things to consider when we think of fill dirt,” Mr. Jackson said. “First, we have to get the right kind of dirt. Dirt along that strip of land was used to fill the Lawyer Pointe slippage. So it is the right kind. Also, it is close to where the intersection is, which cuts down on transportation cost.”

        Mr. Jackson said he is not sure whether the dispute with residents can be settled.

        “We may have to lose the grant for the bike trail if it is not settled,” he said.

        Money for the bike and hike trail is to come from a matching grant, with the federal government supplying $500,000 and the township supplying $500,000.


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