Monday, October 12, 2009

Mill Creek greenway project wins $500K grant

The Mill Creek Restoration Project (MCRP) has been awarded a maximum $500,000 Clean Ohio Trails Fund (COTF) grant for the City of Cincinnati's Mill Creek Greenway Trail Program.

The funding will be applied to construction of the second phase of the 3.4-mile Queen City-South Mill Creek Greenway Trail, to be built between Mitchell Avenue in Spring Grove Village and the Mill Creek Road bridge in Camp Washington.

Construction is already underway on the $6.15 million segment, with a 0.6-mile portion scheduled to open next month.

The Queen City-South Mill Creek Greenway Trail is part of a larger 13.5-mile trail that would connect the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Carthage with Cincinnati Riverfront Park, a five-year project expected to cost $24 million to complete.

In addition to its recreational benefits, the trail will improve the Mill Creek's water quality, manage stormwater runoff, restore the corridor's habitat and natural resources, and provide a working site for environmental education and training.

Plans call for the trail to connect to the existing street network, bike lanes, crosswalks, and bus stops.

State Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-9th) announced the award on Thursday.

"The Mill Creek program is a worthy investment of state funds," Kearney said. "Cincinnatians certainly have a love for recreation and parks, and this grant is part of a great initiative to improve on the area's natural beauty."

A report by the Applied Economics Research Institute at the University of Cincinnati, released last month, estimated that the full 13.5-mile trail could create at least 445 jobs and more than $52 million in economic impact.

"This grant will have wide ranging benefits," Kearney said. "From immediate job creation to recreation and health benefits and even increased property values in the long term, the Mill Creek Greenway Trail Program is a natural winner."

The grant is one of 26 COTF grants awarded in 2009, and one of two in Hamilton County. The City of Harrison is receiving a $173,215 grant for a 3,800-foot section of the Greater Harrison Bikeway.

MCRP is working with local governments to secure funding through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 to underwrite 80 percent of its future work and is seeking state and local sources to obtain the remaining matching funds.

Previous reading on BC:
Report: Mill Creek trail could create 445 jobs, $52 million economic impact (9/8/09)