What to do with the land under and around the new bridge when I-280 becomes an elevated roadway was another important issue taken to the public.
At a public meeting held on October 29, 2003, landscape architects presented the final design for reusing the 44 acres of land that will become available when the bridge is complete. The design was very well received and was unanimously recommended to ODOT by the Task Force.
Dubbed “Native Vegetation,” the design features a nearly two-mile paved trail that winds its way underneath the new bridge. The 16-foot wide trail will have plenty of room for bikers, walkers, and skaters. The predominant feature of the landscape will be trees, lawns, and prairie grasses, specifically selected to keep maintenance requirements to a minimum. Plans also call for a large public lawn area near the Riverside YMCA, with additional space being provided on the east side for potential future athletic fields as part of Ravine Parks II’s expansion.
Construction will begin in 2008. The project, which includes filling the current I-280 trench in North Toledo to reunite neighborhoods, will take an estimated two years to construct.