The new Freedom Trail from Akron through Tallmadge to Kent is moving forward.
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, on Thursday awarded a $1,137,440 contract to Kenmore Construction Co. of Akron for the first leg of the trail.
It was the lowest of five bids for trail construction.
The first leg, along an old rail line, will stretch 4.25 miles from Middlebury Road at the Kent-Tallmadge border to Southwest Avenue in Tallmadge.
The project calls for one bridge, six street crossings and some retaining walls.
That work is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 15, park spokesman Paul Wilkerson said.
Park officials have not met with Kenmore to determine when the work might get started, he said, but, “we want to get it going.”
Later plans call for extending the trail to Akron’s Northside Station. Its total length, when completed, will be 8.5 miles.
The park district has been awarded a $700,000 federal grant to help build the trail.
In other action, the park commissioners:
• Agreed to seek bids for work along Pond Brook in Liberty Park in northern Summit County.
The park district has been awarded a $326,900 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The district is furnishing a local match of $125,000.
The $451,900 will be used to put more natural curves and meanders back into the once-ditched stream, a major tributary of Tinkers Creek, in an area north of state Route 82 in Twinsburg Township.
The park district already has improved three miles of Pond Brook in Liberty Park.
The contract for the new work probably will be awarded in July or August.
• Authorized spending about $20,000 to complete repairs on the historic Harter barn and Granary at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton.
The barn, silos and granary will be painted by Finish Line for $10,314. Subcontractor Tom Lane will be paid $4,025 for needed barn repairs. Park staffers will replace some siding.
The park district made improvements to the barn in 2005 and 2007.
The barn, which dates to the Civil War, is used largely for park storage.
• Approved extending a wooden boardwalk on the Buttonbush Trail at Liberty Park by 1,500 feet. The extension through a wet area is projected to cost about $20,000.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.