Monday, August 13, 2001

River bike path will link town to park

Trail to be built in Melbourne

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MELBOURNE — One day, cyclists will be able to travel some 40 miles through Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties on a designated bike path following the Ohio River. But Melbourne Mayor George Koopman is just pleased that the first piece of that proposed trail, known as River Path, will link his little river town with nearby Pendery Park on Ky. 8.

        “Now, the only way for pedestrians or bike riders to get from Melbourne to the park is on Ky. 8, and that's really dangerous,” he said, referring to the narrow, twisting two-lane road that splits the city and passes the park.

        A $48,000 state grant recently was awarded to construct slightly more than 1 mile of bike path that will connect with the 1-mile path that circles Pendery Park, a Campbell County park on the south shore of the Ohio River that includes ball fields and playgrounds.

        The county is matching the grant 100 percent with labor and materials to build the 10-foot-wide strip of asphalt. Construction is expected to start in September.

        “This was truly a joint effort by a variety of groups in Northern Kentucky,” said Fred Ryan, a senior health educator with the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department who, working with the Forward Quest organization, Campbell County officials and Mr. Koopman, was instrumental in writing the grant application.

        “It's impressive to see these groups come together to make this happen,” he said. “This is the type of cooperation you hope for on all projects but don't always get.”

        Forward Quest, a nonprofit community vision/development group, proposed the shared-use trail to ultimately link up with similar trails in Ohio and Indiana along the river.

        “This will be the first paved section of the trail,” Forward Quest vice president John Vissman said.

        “We had a real dream team putting this together,” he said. “We want to get this piece built this year. Next year we hope to extend it to Silver Grove (about one mile west of Melbourne).”

        River Path, which will incorporate public roadways and off-road sections, is only the second trail in Kentucky to be identified with signs from the state Transportation Cabinet.


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