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The Beechmont Bridge Connector is officially open

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Bill Rinehart
/
WVXU
Cyclists ride across the Beechmont Bridge Connector shortly after the ribbon was cut, opening the span.

The Beechmont Bridge Connector is now officially open, giving cyclists and pedestrians a way over the Little Miami River, without having to worry about traffic. The project ties the Lunken Airport Trail and Armleder Trail with the Little Miami Trail.

Great Parks Commission President Caren Laverty says the link can reach a lot of people. “Amazingly, over 300,000 people who live within a five mile radius of the Little Miami Scenic Trail will now have trail access because of this project.”

Wade Johnston with Tri-State Trails says he’s one of them. “I live about half a mile from here, and for six years I’ve been biking over the Beechmont Levee — and really putting my life in my own hands,” he says. “Now, this project is just such a great example of how when we work together and collaborate between all these different partners we can accomplish big, complex projects that make a big lasting impact today and for future generations.”

The $9 million connection was a financial collaboration between ODOT, Great Parks of Hamilton County and OKI Regional Council of Governments.

ODOT District 8 Director Tammy Campbell says the next step in the area will make it easier to get up Beechmont Avenue to Mount Washington and Anderson Township.

“We’re developing plans to extend the Little Miami Scenic Trail east to Elstun Road, and providing a separated side path along 125 to Ranchvale Drive, making it easier and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians on the east side of Beechmont Levy,” Campbell says.

That project is expected to break ground next spring.

Campbell says the Beechmont Bridge Connector also sets the stage for links to two US Bike Routes: 21, which stretches from Cleveland to Kentucky, and picks up again through Georgia; and 25, which starts at the Michigan border and reaches Aberdeen, Ohio.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.