Cyclists, runners, and walkers make extensive use of the recently completed 1.5 miles of concrete path added to the Riverfront Commons Trail in Covington that winds along the Ohio River.
The expanded multi-use trail opened to the public in mid-June and begins west of the Brent Spence Bridge and stretches west to Swain Court.
The new path, which was previously just a gravel path, is now separated from heavy traffic on Mary Ingles Highway, aka Highway Avenue, by a concrete barrier, creating a clear separation between cyclists, runners and walkers and passing cars.
“This part of the trail provides a safe route out of or into Covington for any cyclist, runner or walker,” said Timothy Knapke, who was the Phase III project manager at Prus Construction.
Phase III is part of the 2.7-mile section of Covington’s Riverfront Commons, regional agency Southbank Partners’ 2006 proposal to link six river towns with an uninterrupted 11.5-mile path stretching from Fort Thomas to Ludlow.
Phase I, approximately three-quarters of a mile long, runs just west of the Madison Overlook – at the foot of Madison Avenue – to the Brent Spence Bridge. Phase II, completed in June 2021, extends from the foot of Greenup Street West to Madison. This phase – often referred to as the “crown jewel” section of the trail – includes Covington Plaza, a 1,350 amphitheater that has hosted theater productions from The Carnegie and various festivals, two concrete paths and a kayak launch ramp and canoe.
Eventually, the western edge of Riverfront Commons will extend to the Ludlow border with a connection that will connect cyclists and walkers to Devou Park.
“It’s hard to convey the magnitude of what Riverfront Commons represents in Covington,” City Manager Ken Smith said. “At first glance, it’s a recreational asset. But it also reconnects Covington audiences to the area’s defining geographic feature. For too long, Covington has been hiding from the Ohio River. Now we embrace it and provide more opportunities to access it and appreciate its beauty.
Knapke, of Prus, said building this part of the trail presented traffic, weather and supply chain challenges.
“The biggest challenge for us on this phase was managing traffic during working hours,” he said. “This road (Highway Avenue) sees a lot of traffic, especially during rush hour.”
Another challenge, he said, was working in the winter months.
“Winter weather slowed down the project and sometimes even stopped it for a while,” he said. “The final challenge was getting materials for the job. We had long-lead items such as streetlights and fencing due to supply chain constraints, which resulted in longer than expected delivery times. »
The cost of Phase III of the multi-use trail was just under $1.1 million and funded primarily by federal grants.
Town of Covington