Phase II of sidewalk project moves forward

by Laura Bednar

Bath Township is moving forward to add sidewalks in the Montrose-Ghent area. Phase II of the sidewalk project will create sidewalks on the west side of North Cleveland Massillon Road from state Route 18 to Springside Drive.

Police Chief and Township Administrator Vito Sinopoli said guests of the many hotels in the area and patrons who wanted to walk to retail areas “didn’t have access.”

The project will cost $650,000, with $520,000 covered through a Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation. Bath will pay remaining costs.

“Engineering and design will be the first stage of the project which we hope to start in fiscal year 2022, and there will be some local match funds required to complete the project,” said Sinopoli.

The project is part of a larger picture. The first phase was completed in 2019, building a sidewalk along the north side of Route 18 from Cleveland Massillon Road to the entrance of the Holiday Inn (which has closed), west of Springside Drive.

Sinopoli said the project started when a Connecting Communities grant was acquired by Trustee Elaina Goodrich and former Copley Trustee Helen Humphrys in 2013. The goal of the grant, according to Sinopoli, was to “improve bike and pedestrian access in the Montrose area.”

Once approved, the grant paid for a study by the Environmental Design Group, which deemed sidewalks a central part of the connectivity proposal.

Following the study, Bath worked with the Summit County Engineer’s Office and applied for a Local Technical Assistance Program grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation to complete the phase I improvements. After these were complete, the township worked with the county engineer’s office again to apply for additional funding for sidewalks along Cleveland Massillon Road and consider a final phase.

The future hope for Phase III is to add a sidewalk along Springside Drive that connects to the other two walks, creating a loop. ∞