CLEVELAND, Ohio – Backers of Ohio’s Towpath Trail will hold a BYOS – Bring Your Own Shovel – groundbreaking for Stage 3 of the project on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Clark Field on the city’s West Side.
Speakers at the Earth Day event will include officials from the four partner agencies responsible for completing the Cleveland portion of the Towpath, including the nonprofit Canalway Partners, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Metroparks.
The 101-mile Towpath, much of which has existed for decades south of Cleveland, follows the route of the historic Ohio & Erie Canal south to Zoar and New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County.
Stage 3 basics
Stage 3 in Cleveland, estimated to cost $18.5 million, will total approximately 30 acres, and will stretch 1.9 miles from the Steelyard Commons retail center to Literary Road in Tremont. It is scheduled for completion in October 2018.
Work on the project began in February, but leaders of the project reasoned that a ceremonial groundbreaking made more sense in April.
“We said, ‘we’ll just choose a date that’s more predictable in terms of the weather,”’ said Tim Donovan, executive director of Canalway Partners.
Other Cleveland sections
The mile-long Stage 2 section, which lies behind Steelyard Commons, was completed in 2009.
The partially completed Stage 4, estimated to cost $12.3 million to finish, will run from Stage 3 north to the planned Canal Basin Park on Columbus Road Peninsula. The remaining sections of Stage 4 will be finished by late 2019 or early 2020, according to Cleveland Metroparks.
No completion date has been set for Stage 1, which will extend north from Harvard Avenue at the southern edge of Cleveland north to the Steelyard Commons section.
Stage 1 will skirt the site of a former industrial plant operated by the Harshaw Chemical Co., which produced uranium for atomic bombs during World War II.
Estimated to cost $13 million, Stage 1 will carry hikers and cyclists through the area largely on bridges and walkways raised above the ground, and threaded beneath the high-level Harvard-Denison Bridge.