In mid-June, construction on a 1.5 mile concrete path for the Riverfront Commons Trail in Covington was completed. The trail, which provides cyclists, runners and walkers with a scenic route along the Ohio River, begins west of the Brent Spence Bridge and stretches west toward Swain Court.
“It’s difficult to convey the magnitude of what Riverfront Commons represents to Covington,” City Manager Ken Smith said. “On its face, it’s a recreational asset. But it also reconnects the Covington public to the region’s defining geographic feature. For too long, Covington hid itself from the Ohio River.”
The new path, which was previously a gravel trail, is now separated from traffic on Highway Avenue by a concrete barrier – which creates a clear division between cyclists, runners, and walkers and the passing cars.
“This part of the trail provides a safe route for exiting or entering Covington for all cyclists, runners, or walkers,” said Timothy Knapke, project manager at Prus Construction.
In 2006, Southbank Partners proposed an idea to link the six river cities with an 11.5 mile path stretching from Fort Thomas to Ludlow. The project is currently in “phase III” of implementation.
The cost of Phase III was approximately $1.1 million funded primarily by federal grants.
Phase I runs from west of the Madison Overlook, at the foot of Madison Avenue, over to the Brent Spence Bridge.
Phase II, which was completed in June 2021, runs from the foot of Greenup Street west to Madison Avenue. The section of the trail includes Covington Plaza, a 1,350-amphitheater that’s hosted theater productions and various festivals, two concrete paths and a canoe launching pad.
Eventually, the western edge of Riverfront Commons will stretch to the Ludlow border providing bikers and walkers with a connection to Devou Park.
Knapke said that phase III of the trail construction presented challenges related to traffic, weather, and the supply chain.
“The biggest challenge for us in this phase was managing the traffic during work hours,” Knapke said. “This road sees a lot of traffic, especially during peak hours.”