Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, is beginning work on the second phase of the new Freedom Trail.
The park district will meet with Akron’s GPD Group to negotiate a contract on the scope and cost of design and engineering work on extending the bike-and-hike trail, park district planner Paul Wilkerson said.
Kenmore Construction Co. has nearly completed the first section of the trail, costing $1.1 million, Wilkerson said. It runs 4.25 miles from Southwest Avenue in Tallmadge to Middlebury Road in Kent.
People are already using that section. It will be dedicated in the spring.
The second phase will run west from Southwest Avenue to Eastwood Avenue in Akron, a distance of about 2 miles. It is possible the engineering could be completed in 2013, with construction bids being sought late in the year, Wilkerson said.
Actual construction on that leg then could begin in late 2013 or early 2014, he said. It is expected to take about three months and cost about $750,000.
The third trail leg would run another 2 miles from Eastwood Avenue to Akron’s Northside Station and would extend the trail to a total length of 8.5 miles. That section will be more complicated than the first two segments, Wilkerson said.
In other action, park commissioners promoted Paul M. Meeker, the park manager at Furnace Run Metro Park in Richfield Township, to be the new manager at Munroe Falls Metro Park.
Commissioners Frances S. Buchholzer and Roland H. Bauer said farewell to commissioner Carol M. Curtis of Silver Lake, who has served 9½ years on the board.
“I hope the new park commissioner loves the park district as much as the three of us love it,” Curtis said. “It means a lot to me, and to all us here. It has been fun to be a part of this.”
Curtis was named to the board in June 2003 to replace the late Hoyt Wells, who had died. She later was reappointed.
Incoming Summit County Probate Judge Elinor Marsh Stormer will name the new parks commissioner.
Bob Downing can be reached at 339-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.