Lakeshore connectivity

SHEFFIELD LAKE

Sheffield Lake will build a mile-long, 10-foot-wide winding, asphalt all-purpose trail from the city's southerly border with Sheffield Village north to Lake Road.

The Lincoln Trail will be built this year as a result of securing a $225,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trail Fund, Services Superintendent Pat Hastings said. The balance of the $325,000 project’s cost will be paid using city funds. Hastings said $100,000 was allocated in the city's 2020 budget for the project.

“This project is another example of our goal to get the community out in nature and Greater Lorain County to our lakeshore,” he said.

The Lincoln Trail will begin at Volunteer Field on Oster Road at the city's southern border with Sheffield Village. It will run north parallel to Irving Park on an undeveloped paper street named Lincoln Boulevard. The path will pass through the city's Gary Green Park, continue north, then jog slightly west at Madison Avenue, and connect to Treadway Boulevard, where it will come out onto Lake Road. The city's popular Shell Cove Park is across Lake Road, about a block away.

This is the second grant secured by the city to develop more walking and cycling paths. Last year, the city won a $200,000 grant to widen an existing bike path along Lake Road beginning at Shoreway Shopping Center and Domonkas Library on the city's far west side east to the covered bridge at Sheffield Road. The wider path accommodates walkers and cyclists, while keeping them safe from car and truck traffic, Hastings said.

A separate grant application to build a pier at Joyce Hanks Community Center is under review and Hastings plans to request funds to continue widening the Lake Road walking/biking path from Sheffield Road to the community center.

Efforts to increase the number of walking and bike trails in Sheffield Lake is partly the result of the city's involvement in the Lakeshore Connectivity Plan, Hastings said. That effort, started nearly four years ago by Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy, with support from the regional planning agency, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Action Coordinating Agency, brought four Lorain County lakeshore communities together to devise ways to draw more people to Lake Erie and encourage healthy lifestyles through walking and cycling.

Besides being part of the Lakeshore Connectivity project, Hasting said, the Lincoln Trail is part of the city's bigger plan to renovate the sewers and replace curbs and paving on Irving Park. The work is also funded through a combination of grants, loans and city funds and is scheduled for completion this year. Hastings said that when the project is completed, every major north-south street in the city will have been completely rehabilitated, which will help bring more people to the lakeshore community to enjoy the city's parks or use the boat launch.

Sheffield Lake was one of 20 recipients of a Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant this year, according to a news release from State Rep. Joe Miller, D-Amherst.

Contact freelance writer Michele Murphy at avonlakemurphy@gmail.com.

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