Construction will start this summer to widen part of the Olentangy Trail and build a ramp to the trail from Bethel Road in northwest Columbus.

Columbus City Council voted May 6 to approve a contract that would pay Complete General Construction as much as $3.7 million for the project. The Columbus company was the lowest of four bidders.

A shared-use path along Bethel Road would link Anheuser Busch Sports Park on Olentangy River Road to a new ramp and tunnel that connects to the trail. More than a mile of the trail, from Bethel Road to Antrim Park, will be widened from 9 feet to 12 feet.

The project also will include a tunnel to carry traffic between Bethel Road and the trail.

Construction will begin in July with completion expected in May 2020.

City officials have said the 14-mile Olentangy Trail is the busiest in the state, with more than 1,000 people using it per day in some areas. The new connector will provide easier access for about 20,000 residents in the Bethel Road corridor, said Brian Hoyt, a spokesman for the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks.

Hoyt said the area between Bethel Road and Antrim Park is the trail's narrowest stretch, causing congestion on the trail.

rrouan@dispatch.com

@RickRouan