Akron moves forward with ‘Rubber City Heritage Trail’ on abandoned elevated railway

Akron and the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition are moving forward with plans to design the six-mile “Rubber City Heritage Trail” on a stretch of an abandoned elevated rail line.

The trail will be constructed on the former Akron-Barberton Belt elevated railway corridor, and is intended to resemble the High Line in New York City. It will be 10-feet wide and can accommodate hikers and cyclists.

The Rubber City Heritage Trail will serve primarily the residents of Akron by making trail connections to libraries, schools, parks and grocery stores. The trail is being designed in phases as funding becomes available, but the plans call for extending it from the Middlebury neighborhood to the University of Akron, downtown.

The Akron-Barberton Belt railway, or ABB, once served tire and rubber companies in Greater Akron, including Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Firestone and General. The railway has not been in use for more than a decade, and is owned by the city.

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