The first thing people travelling to Galena from Delaware may notice is that there’s a new traffic signal up at the entrance to the village at state Route 3 and Walnut Street.
On Wednesday, the long-awaited signal became operational.
“The ($1.3 million) project had funding with Ohio Department of Transportation, the county engineer and the village,” said Administrator Jeff White. The poles were installed in July, but it took another month for AEP to provide electricity to the signals.
Driving down Walnut Street into the village, motorists will notice the brick portion has been replaced with asphalt. There were ruts forming on the sides, causing some to drive on the center line. The George J. Igel & Co. Inc. did the work, finishing four weeks ahead of schedule.
“Everyone seems very pleased with the results, those who use the street as well as the residents who live along it,” said Galena Mayor Tom Hopper in the village’s May-August newsletter.
Elsewhere in Galena, completing the missing link of the Ohio To Erie Trail between Galena and Sunbury is about to become a reality.
“This project — known as Phase 3 of the Galena Brick Trail — will start where the Phase 2 project currently dead-ends behind the Heathermere neighborhood, and connect to Delaware Preservation Parks’ Sandel Legacy Trail at the Sunbury corporation line,” states the Delaware County Friends of the Trail in a Facebook post. “Project funding is primarily through a Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for $488,408.”
Phase 2 of the Galena Brick Trail opened on April 13. The 3/4 of a mile Phase 3 should be completed by Nov. 1. It’s called the brick trail not because it’s paved with brick, but because it goes by what used to be the Galena Shale Tile and Brick factory.
“It’s a trail that actually goes somewhere,” White said. “Some of these things on the trails are finally coming to fruition. Within a few years, if everything keeps going, you’ll be able to go from Westerville all the way up to Mount Vernon. Then from Mount Vernon, you can get over to Kenyon/Gambier, and then there’s a trail from Gambier to Danville.
“It’s not just these long-distance trekkers, but you’ll see families out going from Galena to the Sunbury Community Library,” White added. “Galena is a nexus of trails, all kinds of outdoor pursuits. You’ve got bird watching (such as ospreys), wildlife preserves, the (Hoover) boardwalk — there’s a lot of fishermen out.”
Here’s two examples of Galena’s outdoor pursuits. On July 11, more than 40 area residents got into the Big Walnut Creek at Ruffner Park to look for life in a Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District event. And on June 22, there was a planting of native flowering plants at the village square. This was part of National Pollinator Week, and marked Galena’s status as a Bee City USA affiliate, the first municipality in Delaware County with that title.
If you’d like to visit Galena, today (Aug. 24) would be a good day. The 10th annual Summerfest takes place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the square (all the way down Walnut Street).
“Visitors can expect great entertainment and food,” said Committee Chair Doug Murphy, in the village newsletter. There will also be vendors and exhibitors, a kids zone, and narrated tours of Galena from a tractor-pulled hay wagon. For more information, visit www.galenasummerfest.com.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.