A trail along the Ohio River will get a small pedestrian bridge and more paved walkways thanks to $1.6 million in grants.
The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments announced it would give Ludlow and Newport a combined $1.6 million to build pieces of the Riverfront Commons trail.
When complete, the trail will stretch 111/2 miles along the Ohio River from Ludlow to Fort Thomas. Portions have already been built.
Newport received $1.3 million from OKI. Most of that will pay for a pedestrian bridge connecting the Taylor-Southgate Bridge to the floodwall, said City Manager Tom Fromme.
This will allow people to walk directly from the bridge to the floodwall, where they can walk along the river.
“Without a doubt it will make it more appealing to use from a pedestrian point of view,” Fromme said. “Currently on the bridge you have to walk all the way down to Third and York then go back up through the Levee and up and over the floodwall to get to the river.”
It will be similar to the pedestrian bridge that opened in June 2014 in Newport connecting the Purple People Bridge with the floodwall.
The city of Ludlow will recieve $300,000 from OKI to construct a riverfront walking trial form the city park on Elm Street east to Kenner Street.
Ludlow Mayor Ken Wynn praised the Riverfront Commons plan.
“Riverfront Commons realizes our community’s dream of providing new walking and biking opportunities along the Ohio River and connecting with other Southbank cities,” Wynn said in a statement. “I want to thank OKI for the funding and thank Southbank for making this project happen.”
Riverfront Commons is being built piecemeal as money becomes available.
Covington will use a $182,000 federal grant to build a paved bike and walking path along most of its riverbank later this summer.
Economic development agency Southbank Partners has taken the lead on the project.
“This is another positive step toward completing Riverfront Commons, a project that will transform the Southbank riverfront,” Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland said in a statement. “When you have cooperation and teamwork, you get things done. Southbank, OKI and the cities of Newport and Ludlow came together to make this happen, and Southbank and all six Southbank cities will continue to work with OKI, the State of Kentucky, the fiscal courts of Campbell and Kenton counties and others to see this tremendous project to completion.”