Rail to Trail Project gets City of Akron Grant

This former A&BB elevated line will become part of a trail being developed in Akron.

A rails to trail project has received a $75,000 grant from the Akron City Council to match a grant being offered by the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition.

The trail, to be known as the Rubber City Heritage Trail, will use a portion of abandoned Akron & Barberton Belt right of way.

The location extends from near River Street from Third Avenue to Exchange Street.

The right of way is elevated and the Erie Canalway Coalition said the trail will resemble the High Line in New York City that is also built on an abandoned elevated railroad right of way.

The Akron trail will be 10 feet in width and designed to accommodate hiking and biking.

The trail is being designed in phases and will eventually extend from the Middlebury neighborhood to the University of Akron, downtown Akron, Summit Lake and the Kenmore neighborhoods.

Work is expected to take eight to 10 years to complete with the first phase opening in 2022.

The A&BB line once served tire makers Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Firestone and General.

The city now owns the railroad right of way being developed into a trail and  was last used for rail operations more than a decade ago.

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