Westside Corridor Acquisition
The purchase of an abandoned rail corridor for future public use is moving through required steps and should be complete in late October. See details of the Westside Corridor plan here. The corridor is about 11 miles long and connects residential neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas, and health facilities in Lucas County and part of Wood County.
The public involvement process for the purchase was complete in mid-June, and ODOT announced environmental approval on June 30. The stakeholders in the project ( the Trust for Public Land, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, the University of Toledo, City of Toledo, Wood County Park District, and Wood County Port Authority ) will share the cost to complete an additional environmental assessment. This work will allow any follow up projects to qualify for funds for brownfield remediation should environmental problems surface that were not found in initial soil tests. The financial end of the process is also moving ahead. Transaction documents are being reviewed by legal counsel for each stakeholder. The tentative closing date is October 27.
This property acquisition is the first phase of a long-term project to develop the corridor as a multi-use trail. Preservation of the corridor for public use is identified as a regional priority in the TMACOG 2035 Transportation Plan and it is a significant milestone to make this purchase now. Linear trails like the one envisioned on the Westside Corridor improve property values, make a healthy lifestyle easier, and promote access to our extraordinary natural resources. Because the 11-mile corridor goes through developed residential areas, many people in Lucas and Wood County would have easy access to the new trail from their neighborhoods.