Towpath Trail Stage 3 - click to enlarge
Towpath Trail: Stage 3
Estimated Completeion Date: 2012
This section of the trail will connect Steelyard Commons with the Tremont Neighborhood via an expanded Clark Fields facility.
The first segment runs along a wooded, natural escarpment along a hillside with a residential neighborhood above and a mix of wetlands and industry below. The construction of this segment will also include the restoration of these wetlands.
The trail is then expected to run along the existing border of Clark Fields and an industrial area to the east before turning north at Quigley Road and passing under I-490. A ridge located along this section offers scenic views of downtown Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River Valley.
Additional studies are planned to determine the environmental impact of the Towpath Trail project on the wetlands forest at the southern end of this segment. The planning process is seeking to integrate the user experience with efforts to preserve the existing contrast of nature and industry while also restoring sensitive environmental areas.
The width and slope of the escarpment also presents engineering challenges, although initial studies indicate that there is ample room for the trails.
The expansion of Clark Fields will add an exciting and vibrant urban amenity for trail users and neighborhood residents. The Towpath Trail Coalition is working with the City’s Parks Department to integrate their visions.
The northern section of Stage 3 bears testament to challenges posed by the city’s industrial heritage. A mountain of fill-dirt lies beneath I-490 where the trail will go. Dealing with this obstacle will require clever engineering clean-up techniques. In the long-run, it is hoped that the type reuse of and reinvestment represented by the Towpath Trail project will help to raise public consciousness and encourage better stewardship of our shared, environmental heritage.