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Published: 4/29/2009

Oregon bicycle path features safe rail crossing

BLADE STAFF

Oregon's bike path may incorporate an uncommon feature that will force riders to get off their wheels to safely cross a Norfolk Southern railroad track as part of an approximately $300,000 project expected to be completed next year.

The proposed railroad crossing feature is part of the current plans for a mile-long stretch of the Oregon bike path within Pearson Metropark's northern expansion, said Paul Roman, Oregon's public service director.

Norfolk Southern will need to approve the safety feature, Mr. Roman said.

"It's like a little maze you have to go through," Mr. Roman said of the crossing.

Two stretches of Oregon's approximately 8-mile bike path connecting the west side of the city to Maumee Bay State Park remain to be finished, Mr. Roman said.

When completed, the bike path - part of which is a lane on one side of the road - will cross Oregon on Starr Avenue before heading north on the east side of Pearson to Bay Shore Road and linking into Maumee Bay.

The stretch to be completed next year runs north of Starr Avenue between Lallendorf and Wynn roads. Designs will be finished this year, Mr. Roman said.

A grant through the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments will pay for 80 percent of the project, while Oregon and Toledo Area Metroparks will each pay about $30,000, Mr. Roman said.

Oregon has applied for a grant to help with the bike path's next stage, Mr. Roman. That stretch is about 1 1/2 miles long, from the bike path through Clay High School's grounds and going along Corduroy Road, where it will head north along Stadium Road to the existing path.

"We haven't started on the design of it yet," Mr. Roman said.



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