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Harrison secures funding for paving of Conotton Creek Trail

CADIZ — Harrison County secured nearly $1 million in funding for a county trail improvement project that is set to get underway later this year.

The county hopes to begin paving the Conotton Creek Trail by the end of September now that it is eligible to receive up to $950,000 in Ohio Department of Transportation funding.

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners signed an agreement between the county and ODOT for the federal funding during Wednesday’s regular meeting. The agreement states that ODOT will pay 95 percent of the eligible costs for the estimated $1,020,968 project while the county will be responsible for the remaining cost.

Commissioner Paul Coffland said he is hopeful for a lower cost estimate once the project is put out for bid. He said he anticipates the new estimate will be under $1 million. Either way, ODOT will cover 95 percent of the project cost so long as the funding does not exceed $950,000.

Coffland said the impending project includes paving the 11.4 miles of the trail, which stretches from Jewett to Bowerston.

“The paving will cover the complete Conotton Creek Trail,” he said.

The trail is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts, however it has been in need of a little TLC to make it a smoother ride for bicyclists and others traveling along the path.

Coffland said the county has been anticipating these funds since 2018 when it originally secured the funding opportunity.

“It’s just been getting through the process and getting in line with them (ODOT),” he said.

Although the funding was secured years earlier, the money will not be available until the spring when the project will then be put out for bid.

“So we’ll be looking to have the work completed by the end of September, hopefully,” Coffland said.

Commissioners Dale Norris, Don Bethel and Coffland unanimously approved and signed the agreement.

In other news, the county also secured funding to pave Harrison County roads 17 and 43.

Coffland said the ODOT funding provides up to 100 percent of eligible costs up to a maximum of $500,000. The project’s estimated cost is $680,000, which leaves $180,000 of the remaining cost for the county to fund.

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