"The National Road Bikeway is more than an asphalt path through the city. It joins people, parks, and places. The Bikeway's transportation, economic, educational, social, and recreational benefits can positively impact this city for generations if this project is properly cared for and maintained. This responsibility must not fall to just the city government or its' citizens respectively, but jointly, if the long term promise of our work is to be realized." -- Dennis Bigler, Director of Public Services
The National Road Bikeway in St. Clairsville is the only rail trail in Ohiowith a tunnel. This is not to be confused with being the only bike trail in Ohio with a tunnel as there are several.This trail is the only RAIL trail and St. Clairsville is proud of the distinction. The tunnel is 532 feet long and 40 feet high. The tunnel restoration for the bikeway maintained the cave-like interior. Interior lighting was installed with lights that reflect 90% of the light down onto the trail and 10% up to the ceiling. The northern end of the tunnel features a two plaza overlook allowing the user an 80 foot high view of the bike trail at the top level. This tunnel is truely a sight to be seen.
The City of St. Clairsville held the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Road Bikeway on June 27, 1997. Many national dignitaries were on hand to help with this auspicious occasion. They included Bob Ney of the U.S. House of Representatives, Charlie Wilson, State Representative - Ohio 99th House District, Roxanne Kane, District Enchancement Coordinator, ODOT - District 11, and Marianne Fowler, Director of Governmental Affairs, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Washington, D.C..
Opening Ceremonies were held on Friday, June 26, 1998, one day short of one year from the groundbreaking. The opening ceremony was a collective community event beginning with an optional pretour from the ballfields at the north end of the bikeway to the gazebo at Hub Park. The public was invited to walk, ride or skate to participate. The Boy and Girl Scouts of America led the pretour and presented the colors.
The Mayor of St. Clairsville, Robert Vincenzo, began the opening remarks and was followed by Patricia Bruhn, Council President; Mike Cope, ODOT; and Dennis Bigler, Director of Public Service for St. Clairsville.
Many communities and organizations have approached officals from St. Clairsville to ask the many questions concerned with such a project. To answer every question in an informative yet entertaining manner, a video has been prepared explaining the various phases of this project. This 22 minute video was created for the city by ESV Productions in St. Clairsville and is available for sale to the public. The VHF video can be purchased for 15.00 or it is available on CD rom for $5.00.
To obtain your copy of the video, send a check or money order payable to:
The City of St. Clairsville
Director of Public Services
PO Box 537
St. Clairsville, OH 43950
The students at St. Clairsville Middle and Junior High Schools worked on a special community service project. They collected pennies to donate to the National Road Bikeway. On May 19, 1998, the students walked from the school to the hub area on Sunset Drive to donate the pennies.
The Student Council for the school organized the collection under the guidance of teacher Cinda Weisgerber. Approximately 55,000 pennies were collected and arrived at the Gazebo in jars in a wheel barrel. The students presented the pennies to Kevin Barr, Recreation Director, and Jill Lucidi, Finance Director for the City of St. Clairsville.
The City would like to extend a tremendous thank you to the students and teachers who participated in this venture. The pennies collected contributed to the construction of the Nature Walk adjacent to the paved bikeway.