Pedal to the mettle

Aman Ali

Kent State makes plans to create bike path, making campus more friendly to pedestrians

Kent State is on the verge of paving pathways through new territories in the future — literally.

A bicycle and hiking trail will trek through the lower half of campus by July 2007. The pedestrian-friendly pathway is part of a large-scale project in the county called the Portage Hike and Bike Trail.

“The hope, long term, is to connect Kent State to the rest of the county,” said Michael Bruder, assistant director of the Office of the University Architect.

The concrete trail will connect the university to the city of Kent, Ravenna and other municipalities within Portage County. The Kent State portion of the trail will start at Dix Stadium and run continuously to Rockwell Hall on Summit Street.

“Having this trail go through campus takes advantage of the 25,000 students that go here,” said Tom Euclide, director of the Office of the University Architect. “Now they have a way of utilizing alternative transportation.”

Construction on the trail has not yet started, but Euclide said the trail shouldn’t take too long to construct — even if contractors begin working in the spring. So far, one contractor has been hired to work on the Kent State trail, but only on a small portion of it. Perrin Asphalt, Inc., a paving company in Akron, will pave the small portion on Horning Road just south of Loop Road. Kent State will pay Perrin Asphalt $95,000 for the work.

The costs to build the remaining portion of the trail, Euclide said, will come from outside sources, such as grants from Portage County and the Ohio Department of Transportation. No contractor has been secured for it, and final costs haven’t been determined.

Kent State should have had a contractor secured by Tuesday, but Fred James, project manager at the Portage County Engineer’s office, said bidding on the project has been extended until Dec. 19.

“Some of the items on the proposal needed clarification,” James said.

James said the deadline had been extended because the office wanted to see more contractors bid on the project. He said, however, the deadline extension should not interfere with the intended July 2007 completion date.

Contact public affairs reporter Aman Ali at [email protected].