The city of Delaware has completed an extension of the Springfield Branch trail for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The path was extended by about 670 feet from the intersection of David and Ross streets to Todd Street through an easement in the northeastern portion of Howald Industrial Park, located at 320 London Road, to allow travel from Winter Street.
John Howald, president and CEO of Howald Industrial Park Inc., paid $14,000 to have the path installed. Delaware City Council budgeted the money in May from the project trust fund to complete the project.
The project was originally projected to cost $58,000, if the city had hired a private contractor. Due to the work being done in-house, Howald’s payment will pay for most of the work with the city covering some additional costs for labor and materials, said Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller.
Exact figures were not available.
“This (easement) gets us over the difficulty of how do you get (the trail) over the active railroad tracks,” Delaware Planning and Community Development Director David Efland said at the 2016 meeting.
Delaware City Council approved Howald’s request to rezone the 28-acre park formerly known as Marvin Industrial Park at its first meeting last year. The site, which was once used as a general casting foundry, is now allowed to have multiple purposes instead of only general manufacturing.
The rezoning took a decade to accomplish, according to The Gazette archives.
“John Howald took a piece of property that was difficult to re-use and really turned it into something that is a benefit to our community, that produces jobs at a variety of businesses that do not fit any one zoning category,” city spokesman Lee Yoakum said. “As part of the rezoning, a bike path agreement was reached between John and the City, for a payment by John to the City that offset the cost of making that extension.”
The trail could be extended farther in the future to connect with the Delaware Community Center YMCA on Houk Road, according to a bike plan that city council adopted in May.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.