Prairie Township will become a big part of the state's Ohio to Erie Trail that stretches from Cincinnati through Columbus and on to Cleveland.

Prairie Township will become a big part of the state's Ohio to Erie Trail that stretches from Cincinnati through Columbus and on to Cleveland.

Township trustees learned more about the Camp Chase Rails and Trails Project at a recent board meeting from representatives from the Rails and Trails Conservancy and Columbus Metro Parks.

"This is a great benefit to the community," Conservancy representative Rhonda Border-Boose said. "This is the first of a few of its kind. It is a rail with a trail. There is a working railroad with a trail adjacent to it."

When complete, the Ohio to Erie Trail will total more than 450 miles of pathway, Border-Boose said, adding that the Camp Chase Rails and Trails Project will be one of the most critical links.

Conservancy representative Eric Oberg said the finished trail in Prairie Township will have the potential to attract new business and tourism.

"The 11-mile portion of this trail will be a gateway to Columbus," he said.

The estimated cost of the entire Ohio to Erie Trail project is $10-million, with 40 percent already procured, Oberg said.

Construction on the Camp Chase Rails and Trails Project is set to begin this fall at a cost of $750,000. It is to be completed by 2012, he said.

The township's portion of the trail will extend from Kropp Road through Galloway and on to Sullivant Avenue.

"It is a link in a multi-hundred-mile trail and will be the most unique part of the trail," he said.

Trustee Steve Kennedy said the benefits to township residents will be recreational, but the trail also will bring the potential for economic opportunities for the township.

"I believe the main benefit of this trail system will be an added source of recreation for township residents," Kennedy said. "When completed, this project could add some economic development opportunities to places like the town of Galloway, where this project will be going through."

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