Upcoming Project Information Rubber City Heritage Trail Phase 1
Rubber City Heritage Trail overview:
The Rubber City Heritage Trail is a proposed multi-use trail linking the Akron neighborhoods of East Akron, Middlebury, University of Akron, South Akron, Firestone Park, and Kenmore via an abandoned rail line. The trail alignment follows 6-miles of the former ABC rail line that provided service to tire and rubber companies of Akron, including Goodyear, General Tire, BF Goodrich and Firestone. The rail corridor is majority owned by the City of Akron. The Rubber City Heritage Trail is a major component of the City’s growing bicycle network as it allows safe pedestrian travel for all abilities and destinations: recreation, school, work, etc.
A feasibility study was completed in 2018 with many project partners including Summit Metro Parks, Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, Goodyear, the Knight Foundation, the Well Community Development Corporation, and Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.
Phase 1 of the Rubber City Heritage Trail starts at 3rd Avenue and the Middlebury Run Park trail and ends at Exchange Street by Fire Station 2. Construction is planned for Fall of 2022 and will include: 10-ft wide asphalt trail pavement, wayfinding signage, two rail to pedestrian bridge conversions, interpretive signage, miniature neighborhood trail plazas, viewing benches, street crossings, and conduits for future fiber optic network expansion. The project will not impact any environmentally sensitive resources. The section between 3rd Avenue and the SummaCare parking lot north entrance has an existing sidewalk that will be replaced with full width trail pavement. Permanent right of way is needed for trail construction in this location. All other construction will occur on City of Akron land.
The highlight of Phase 1 will be the conversion of the 800-ft viaduct over the Little Cuyahoga River, active W&LE Railway tracks, River Street, and Factory Street from rail bridge to an accessible pedestrian trail bridge.