Holmes County Park District Contracts with Woolpert for Rails-to-Trails Design Project
The firm will produce detailed construction plans for a 4-mile stretch of the multiuse trail in northeast Ohio.
HOLMES COUNTY, Ohio (Feb. 23, 2022) — Woolpert has been contracted by the Holmes County Park District to provide survey, engineering and design services to renovate 4 miles of the Holmes County Trail, from Glenmont east to State Route 520. Woolpert will produce detailed construction plans that identify infrastructure repairs to the trail, four bridges, retaining walls and culverts, as well as environmental improvements and aesthetic enhancements.
This $3.6 million project is part of a phased plan to complete the 29-mile Holmes County Trail in northeast Ohio, which is in the heart of Amish country. The trail will be 16 feet wide, except over bridges and when pinched by Black Creek, to accommodate horses and buggies, pedestrians and cyclists. The path was the first recreational trail in the U.S. designed to accommodate Amish buggies. It is part of the 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail and aligns with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, which is building a nationwide network of trails by converting former railroad corridors to multiuse public paths.
Woolpert Roads and Bridges Practice Leader Ron Mattox said this project illustrates how an environmentally sensitive area, complete with challenging and beautiful wetlands, can be expertly repurposed to incorporate local resources and improve the livability of a region.
“The railroad bed remains in the Glenmont to Killbuck trail, but the tracks and most of the timbers have been removed. We’ll clear the trail and place base material and asphalt to support all users and convert the bridges to pedestrian use,” Mattox said. “We’re also working with Briar Hill Stone Co., a great local stone-cutting company that has been in business for over 100 years. We want to incorporate some of their huge sandstone blocks into the trail design, which people will be able to climb.”
Mattox added that the project will refresh and revitalize areas of the trail that have been affected by the site’s natural elements over time, giving the corridor new life and creating a destination worthy of the region.
“The beautiful Black Creek runs alongside much of the trail, and there are Killbuck Marsh lowland and wildlife areas on both sides of the trail,” Mattox said. “We’ve seen eagles back there, as well as beavers. It’s a gorgeous area, and a really fun project to be a part of.”
Final design plans have been submitted for this project, and construction is expected to begin in the fall.
Woolpert is the premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG) and strategic consulting firm, with a vision to become one of the best companies in the world. We innovate within and across markets to effectively serve public, private and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is an ENR Top 150 Global Design Firm, recently earned its fifth-straight Great Place to Work certification and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity and respect. Founded in 1911 in Dayton, Ohio, Woolpert has been America’s fastest-growing AEG firm since 2015. The firm has over 1,300 employees and 42 offices in three countries. For more, visit woolpert.com.