PROCTORVILLE, Ohio — A number of state and local roads are being designated as a bike path through Lawrence County.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is designating bike paths throughout the Buckeye State to serve as part of the program advocated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The state would pay for signage for the bike paths and not be of any cost to the county, said County Engineer Patrick Leighty.
The bike path would start along Ohio 141, run down to Ohio 775, go through Proctorville and Chesapeake and South Point, onto U.S. 52 and then through Coal Grove, Ironton and Hanging Rock, according to Leighty.
“The state has been working on this for several years,” Leighty said Thursday. “It could take a year or two to get it going.”
“I have been a major advocate for a bike path through the county,” said Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. “We could tie it into bike paths in the Huntington area. There’s real potential here. I think there’s a movement toward more people using bicycles for recreation.”
The state is working on legislation to get the bike path program established, Leighty said.
The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution in a meeting earlier this week endorsing the bike path.
Bicycle tourism is a growing industry in North America, contributing $47 billion a year to the economies of communities that provide facilities for such tourists, according to the resolution.
Commissioner DeAnna Holliday said the bike path is a suitable route and would promote tourism in the area.
“We acknowledge the route may change over time because new facilities are being constructed that are more suitable for bicyclists,” according to the resolution.
Once the bike route is officially designated, there could be efforts to publicize it through maps on the internet, according to the resolution.