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Published: Tuesday, 2/16/2010

Work on Oregon bike path link ready to start after 5-year wait


After five years, construction is readying to begin on a paved bike path through Pearson North, which directly will connect the existing Starr Avenue bike lane and Oregon Municipal Complex bikeway.

Oregon City Council last week approved a contract with Norfolk Southern Railway Co. for up to $30,040 to design and construct a specialized safety crossing over the railroad track. The project will be bid out in March, said Paul Roman, Oregon's public service director and acting city administrator.

Council, meanwhile, also unanimously approved bids for two road projects last week. B&J Concrete & Construction of Toledo was awarded more than $733,000 to improve the intersection of Coy and Starr Roads, including decorative poles and pedestrian markings. Shelly Co. of Maumee was awarded nearly

$2.9 million to resurface and improve Otter Creek Road. Mr. Roman said the federal economic stimulus plan is funding the project.

"They were the only ones under $3 million, and this project is federally funded up to a cap of $3 million," Mr. Roman said.

Mr. Roman said planning for the Pearson North bike path along Starr Avenue and connecting to the existing bikeway at Starr Avenue Extension began about five years ago, when Toledo Area Metroparks negotiated a land swap with Toledo Edison Co. It took a couple of years to negotiate the crossing with the railroad, he said.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments is the primary source of funding for the bike path construction project, and Oregon and Metroparks will split the rest, Mr. Roman said. Oregon's total share of the project will be about $100,000, and Metroparks will do the maintenance, he said.

Council members also agreed to give $65,000 to Black Swamp Conservancy of Perrysburg for a conservation easement for the Big Ditch improvement project. That project, estimated to cost more than $4.7 million, includes installing a new outlet of Big Ditch into Lake Erie.

Also last week, Mayor Mike Seferian notified council that Oregon Fire Chief Bill Wilkins moved up his retirement date to Friday.

Chief Wilkins had planned to retire June 25.

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