Cyclists looking to access the section of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail that spans from Lake Street to Lake Rockwell Road will not be able to jump on the trail in Kent from the east side of the Cuyahoga River.
The new pedestrian bridge under construction as part of the Fairchild Avenue Bridge project will link directly to the existing trail, which dead-ends next to Weiss Motors and Knapp's Collision and the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway tracks.
Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said the railroad would not permit a new crossing of the train tracks to allow direct access to the bike trail for pedestrians and cyclists.
"They don’t care if it’s a sidewalk, bike path or a street," Bowling said. "We had one crossing before (construction). They allowed us one crossing when we were done. So the actual way to get to the trail from the east side would be to go over the new bridge and pick it up on the west side” of the Cuyahoga River.