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Published: Wednesday, 3/16/2005

Metroparks plans bridge for bicycles, pedestrians

Toledo Area Metroparks officials yesterday approached the city of Maumee asking for approval to build a $1.2 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge over U.S. 24.

Plans for the bridge, which will connect the Fallen Timbers State Monument with the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site, have been in the works for more than two years.

It also will be a link in the area's bike trails, joining the Wabash Cannonball Trail to the River Road corridor.

James Speck, director of planning for the Metroparks, said yesterday that the project is ready to go when Maumee agrees that it can move forward.

Members of Maumee City Council's streets committee and parks and recreation committee voted to recommend approval of the project to city council, which is scheduled to discuss the issue at its Monday meeting.

"I think aesthetically, the metroparks have done what they can do to make the bridge blend in," said Larry Gamble, the city's director of public service.

The bridge, which will be 14 feet wide and more than 300 feet long, will run over U.S. 24 and Fallen Timbers Lane near the site where Jerome Road dead ends. Mr. Speck said it will be wheelchair accessible, surrounded by chain link fencing, and have gates at the ends so it can be closed at night.

To pay for the bridge, the metroparks has $640,000 in federal Transportation Enhancement funds, $320,000 from a Clean Ohio Trails Fund Grant, and $50,000 in private donations. The metroparks agreed to contribute $230,000 from its own funds.

Mr. Speck said the metroparks is hoping to complete the bridge by the end of the year.

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