DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — An abandoned Dayton railroad track is one step closer to being converted into a bike trail connected to the entire region.
The Flight Line rails-to-trails project has been in the works for the last several years but was recently propelled forward with $1.5 million in funding secured by Congressman Mike Turner.
He was able to secure funding through the Fiscal Year 2023 Community Project Funding process.
Turner joined Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims, Jr. and City Planner Susan Vincent to announce the funding Thursday.
“This is an important investment in the Huffman Historic District,” Turner said. “By connecting the bike path with the rest of the system, it will attract activity, energy and excitement. This project is called the Flight Line, and we’re looking forward to it taking flight.”
The project aims to turn a six-mile-long out-of-service railway corridor into a recreational trail and park.
“The Flight Line rails-to-trails project will be a transformational quality-of-life amenity for Daytonians and build upon the more than 300 miles of existing paved trails in the region,” Mayor Mims said. “I’m thankful for Congressman Turner’s critical support to help move this project forward.”
There will be two sections of the new bike trail: a northern elevated trail and parkway, known as the Flight Line, which will connect to the Creekside Trail, and a southern trail which will connect to the Iron Horse Trail.
The existing railroad bridges will remain part of the trail, which maintains safety when crossing some major roads.
“I would ride this trail to work if it were in existence today,” Vincent said. “There are a lot of people who live in the east side of the city coming from further out who could have a much safer path to downtown. It improves the safety in terms of having to cross some of the main roads such as Keowee Street.”
There is no timeline for the project at this time.