Fairfield’s park expansion continues with planned bike path extension

Published: Sunday, May 19, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

The city of Fairfield is planning on its next extension of its portion of the Great Miami River Bike Trail, which will connect the yet-to-be-named multi-use dog park to Marsh Park. FILE PHOTO
SKIP PETERSON
The city of Fairfield is planning on its next extension of its portion of the Great Miami River Bike Trail, which will connect the yet-to-be-named multi-use dog park to Marsh Park. FILE PHOTO(SKIP PETERSON)

One of the next pieces of the Marsh Park project in Fairfield will include expansion to connect the lake and multi-use dog park with a one-mile bike path. 

The city will apply for a $700,000 OKI Regional Council of Governments grant to pay for most of the $1.1 million project, which would bisect Marsh Park and run across River Road and down to the yet-to-be-named multi-use dog park currently under construction, according to the tentative plans. The new park will also be a trail head for the Great Miami River Bike Trail.

“It will obviously provide connectivity with our neighboring communities, and it will get people to our park,” said Fairfield Parks Director Tiphanie Howard. “With us unveiling non-motorized boat usage at Marsh this summer, we’re excited to get people there.”

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MORE: New yet-to-be-named park is more than just a dog park

The grant request is due by June 7, and City Engineer Ben Mann said preliminary scoring will be known by late October “and we should know by then.” Grant awards will be officially announced by the end of the year, he said.

“This section would allow the path to be accessed directly by a considerable portion of the city’s residential population without driving,” he said.

If OKI awards the city the grant, funds would bid the bike path project in 2023, Mann said. If they are denied the grant, he said the city will re-apply but the project would likely be pushed back until funding is secured.

When the path is completed, Howard said residents from homes on and near Lake Circle Drive and Woodbrook Court can bike across River Road to the new multi-use dog park, travel to Marsh Park or continue to the Chateau Way neighborhood, and then up to Waterworks Park and Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Field.

“It’s just an added benefit to any community to get to where you want to get by bike,” said Howard. “We have three pillars that we focus on in the parks and recreation department, and one of them is conservancy. Getting people out riding on their bikes is completing that mission for us.”

After this stretch of bike path, there would be a couple more parts to complete in Fairfield related to the Great Miami River Bike Trail. Fairfield’s path connects Waterworks Park to Joyce Park in Hamilton. The city would then connect the Waterworks Park bike path with Marsh Park, and the multi-use dog park to the city’s southern corporation line.

The city has spent years investing in expanding and developing Marsh Park. Most of the expansion comes from the 2017 acquisition of the former Martin Marietta aggregate mining site adjacent to Marsh. The city is able to connect the main portion of Marsh Park to the multi-use dog park because of the purchase of the former Muskopf property and a new modern roundabout set to begin construction after Memorial Day.