By Dustin Ensinger
Crossing U.S. 23 in Orange Township recently got much safer.
The installation of a pedestrian bridge over the busy, four-lane thoroughfare was completed earlier this month.
The $2.2 million pedestrian bridge will not only improve safety in the area, it will also promote a healthy lifestyle once it is connected to the township’s trail system, according to Orange Township Trustee Rob Quigley.
“People want that availability to be able to jump on a trail with their family,” he said.
Quigley said township residents have been clamoring for a more complete trail system, and the pedestrian bridge will allow the trails on the east and west side of U.S. 23 to be connected once complete.
“This is a matter of us being proactive,” he said. “This has been a request by many residents to have these trails.”
The bridge will also help to brand the township, he said.
“The bridge itself is somewhat of a landmark. It helps to market Orange Township,” he said.
The bridge was paid for with a combination of township funds and a $1.4 million grant that was applied for specifically for the project.
“We applied for this grant,” Quigley said. “We wanted this grant to play for this bridge.”
Quigley also believes the addition of parks and trails will make the township a more attractive place to prospective residents.
“It’s been the goal for some time now to try and bring about more of a community feel,” he said.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.