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Phase 5 of the Wasson Way trail is now open, with one more to go

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Jolene Almendarez
Mayor John Cranley says it's always been his goal to open Phase 5 of the Wasson Way Trail during his tenure. With about two weeks left on the job, he cut the ribbon during the grand opening Wednesday morning.

Phase 5 of the Wasson Way trail is only about a quarter-mile long, but it connects a former railroad bridge in Ault Park with a steep hill to Old Red Bank Road. A crowd of people gathered Wednesday morning to celebrate the grand opening, including Mayor John Cranley.

He said he campaigned on getting this part of the trail completed during his tenure and, with about two week left on the job, got it done just in time. He hopes it continues to grow in the coming years.

"It is such an incredible quality of life issue," he said. "And I can't wait until it extends to UC. I can't wait until Oasis is done… and I'm here to say, as a citizen, as a soon-to-be private citizen, get across that bridge to Mariemont."

The trail is currently 3.75 miles long and will stretch 4.55 miles when it's completed in 2024. It's also part of The CROWN Network, a proposed 34-mile trail loop that would connect communities throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.

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Jolene Almendarez
Dozens of people gathered for the grand opening of Phase 5 of the Wasson Way trail in Ault Park.

Wasson Way Co-founder Jay Andress says Phase 5 is one more step toward completing the trail, which will connect 83,000 in eight Cincinnati neighborhoods.

"We have a little ways to go," he said. "We want to be hooked up to the Little Miami bike trail, so one day, you can ride completely off-road from Avondale to the Little Miami bike trail. We want to connect communities with community events. So we just need your continued support and we're gonna make this happen."

Phase 4 and 5 of the trail are 1.25 miles long and cost about $3.2 million to complete. Phase 6, the final phase, is 0.8 miles and will connect Woodburn Avenue and Blair Court. It's expected to cost about $2 million.

President of the Cincinnati Park Bard Jim Goetz says giving more people easier access to the park is worth celebrating.

"We are committed to tying our parks with trails to the communities throughout Cincinnati and throughout the region. So we are looking forward to continue working to finish Wasson Way with the CROWN Network," he said.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.