McGill Park trail construction to begin next month in Canal Winchester

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Canal Winchester municipal offices

Work is ready to start on a trail connecting McGill Park to an area along Walnut Creek, to Washington Street and to the Bergstresser covered bridge. 

Canal Winchester City Council unanimously approved an ordinance April 5 allowing the mayor to contract with Facemyer Co. for $676,522 to complete the project. 

The company was the lowest among seven bidders, including Axis Civil Construction ($702,263), Strawser Paving Co. ($745,521), Watson General Contracting ($763,732), The Righter Co. ($774,796), Columbus Asphalt Paving ($793,117) and Double Z Construction Co. ($859,964). 

Construction is expected to begin “the first of May,” with completion set for Oct. 30, said Bill Sims, the city’s construction services administrator.

The trail will be nearly a mile long and 10 feet wide, with new bridge crossings at Washington Street and Ashbrook Road, leading from the covered bridge at Washington Street and Ashbrook Road to McGill Park. 

Last year, the city received word from the state that it would receive a $450,000 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant for the connector trail. 

Canal Winchester purchased 90 acres along Lithopolis-Winchester Road in 2017 to build a multipurpose park in three phases, costing upward of $6 million. 

The first phase includes the construction of four soccer fields, a natural playground, shelter house, parking and additional trails with an estimated cost of $2.7 million, city Finance Director Amanda Jackson told council in providing an update on the project. 

The city has received a $500,000 federal land and conservation grant from the National Park Service and $502,510 in public donations, she said. 

Jackson said she expects the city will need to borrow $1.472 million to complete the first phase. 

“We knew coming out of the gate that we were going to have to do some kind of debt issuance to make this project happen,” she said. “Our fund balance is healthy. We could pay cash for it, but it doesn’t make sense to do that when we have other things going on and interest rates are still really low.” 

In January, Mayor Mike Ebert promised that residents will see progress on the park this year. 

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