MIDDLEPORT — An official ribbon cutting was recently held for Phase 2 of the Middleport-Pomeroy Multi-use Trail, which in Middleport is known as The Yellow Jacket Trail.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a small number of local officials and those involved in the project were permitted to attend the event, which was live streamed on the Ohio Department of Transportation Southeastern Ohio District 10 Facebook page.
Middleport Councilman Brian Conde welcomed those in attendance, as well as those watching online, thanking all of those who made the project possible.
Phase 2 of the trail goes from the previously constructed portion from the former Dairy Queen through a portion of Middleport, extending the trail to the Marina area of Middleport.
Conde stated, that he and his wife use the new trail daily, which is in a scenic area along the river and through nature in the village.
Local businessman Tim King, who was a driving force behind the trail projects in the village, explained that four years ago this month, he along with ODOT and other representatives met that the site of trail to discuss the project.
Phase 2 of the trail, stated King, was “four years in the making.”
King explained that the ultimate goal is to “make Middleport the most cycle friendly village in the state of Ohio.”
“This is a great project for Middleport,” said Mayor Fred Hoffman. Hoffman thanked the commissioners for their assistance with funding the design work of the project; Village Administrator Joe Woodall for his work on the project; and King for his work toward making the project happen.
Council President Ben Reed said that he is excited about the path and the investments taking place in Middleport, with the projects “hopefully connecting Middleport and Pomeroy one day.”
Project manager Eric Reed said that the trail projects in the area originated several years ago, beginning with the Pomeroy walking path and then Phase 1 in Middleport.
Reed stated that the trail project is a “great work and collaboration between the village and our team.”
“There is momentum toward another phase which will take us closer to Pomeroy,” explained Reed.
Phase 3 is in the beginning stages, with that phase to run from the former Dairy Queen to the Bridge of Honor.
As for Phase 3, a consultant for the project was selected in October, with a detailed plan for development for 0.7 mile, 10 foot wide multi-use trail scheduled to begin in December. The new section of trail will travel along the river from the former Dairy Queen in Middleport to the intersection of Main Street and the Bridge of Honor which connects Pomeroy and Mason. Construction is likely to begin in Spring 2022.
“We are not done yet,” concluded Conde. “It will be nice to connect up river, across the river.”
Phase 4 of the trail project would complete the Middleport-Pomeroy connection, with funding awarded in Sept. 2019 for the project. Construction of the 0.5 mile trail to connect the end of Phase 3 to the Pomeroy Business District is likely to begin in the summer of 2023.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.