Renovations lined up for Leetonia’s Cherry Valley ovens

LEETONIA- Work is soon to begin at the Cherry Valley Beehive Coke Ovens, setting the table for a series of renovation projects that will continue through 2017.

According to Justin Hite, community development coordinator, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has secured funding to reroute water from the mine shaft to the north end of the park. He said a pre-construction meeting was held, but that no start date was scheduled, so construction could begin at any time. He did note that the plan is to have it completed before the end of summer.

This will be completed at no cost to the village, which will be providing brush removal, Hite said.

Parking, trailhead: In 2015 construction of parking and trailhead facilities is planned for completion, funded through an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant of $126,582. The village will provide $62,000 of the estimated $188,000 project that will provide pedestrian access from the Greenway Bike Trail to the coke ovens and parking off of High Street next to the trail, according to Hite. The next step in the project is developing the engineering, and then the project will be bid out for construction, he said.

Reforestation: Looking farther into the future, Hite said he is broadening the scope of a Clean Ohio grant that will fund a project for trail addition and reforestation at the adjacent property council purchased to incorporate into the park. The grant initially called for $200,000 to purchase the property, but Hite said it could be expanded to as much as $500,000, although there is not a solid estimate yet.

Expected to be completed in 2016 or 2017, the project will make the park more accessible to the trail and Cherry Valley Road, Hite said, offering more access points into the park.