Bike enthusiasts near the Bethel Road and Olentangy River Road intersection will now have a new route to ride. Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s new trail connecting users directly from Bethel Road to the 13.2-mile Olentangy Trail is now open.
The new Bethel Road trail connector is located on the north side of Bethel Road, between the Bethel Road and Olentangy River Road intersection and State Route 315.
“We’re excited to see the Olentangy Trail Bethel Road connector come to fruition,” said Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “This has been on the wish list for northwest Columbus for many years, and it will be a powerful addition to their active transportation system.”
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According to a release, the project included widening a 1-mile stretch of the Olentangy Trail from Antrim Park to Bethel Road and adding a concrete barrier between the trail and vehicles on Bethel Road to ensure users are safe.
On this new trail connector, trail users will cross the off-ramp where cars coming south on State Route 315 merge onto Bethel Road, per a release. To assist with crossing the off-ramp, flashing beacons have been installed to let drivers know that trail users are about to enter the crosswalk. To activate the warning signals, users press the button before moving through the crosswalk.
“Trail users get to experience health benefits, fun, and beautiful scenery – especially when traveling along waterways like the Olentangy River,” said William Murdock, president of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). “The Bethel Road connector is a $3.5 million project important to both neighborhood residents and all of central Ohio. MORPC was proud to partner with the City of Columbus with more than $2.5 million of the region’s investment in trails. We know that by connecting to trails, we are connecting people to each other and to the places they most want to go.”