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Transportation & Government Services
Phase I - Flight Line (east Dayton Rails-to-Trails)
In 2022, the City of Dayton was awarded funding to acquire the abandoned railroad right of way known as the Flight Line. This multipurpose trail will complete a gap in the Miami Valley’s regional trail network connecting Downtown Dayton to 350+ miles of multi-purpose trails. This request will fund the first phase of design and construction for the Flight Line– realizing the vision of a vibrant community asset that stabilizes our neighborhoods while establishing a regional attraction.
•Shelley Dickstein, City of Dayton City Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 937.333.3606
•Todd Kinskey, City of Dayton Planning and Community Development Director, email@example.com, 937.333.4209
•Joe Weinel, City of Dayton Senior Engineer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 937.333.4218
The City of Dayton submitted a successful Community Project Funding request to Congressman Turner in 2022. The cities of Dayton and Kettering will complete acquisition of the entire 6.5 mile Norfolk Southern out-of-service rail corridor with those funds. The Flight Line is a strong candidate for the Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant that offers $500,000 that may also be used for acquisition. In addition, the path of the trail runs through several Community Development Block Grant eligible areas and will be submitted for consideration for an allocation through the City of Dayton’s program as needed. Construction will be broken into three or four phases; all of which will be strong candidates for both Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality and Transportation Alternative funding. In addition, smaller grants – such as the $15,000 award received from Rails to Trails – will help fund aesthetic improvements, signage, and pedestrian amenities.
Construction or Capital
In 2022, the City of Dayton was awarded $1.5 million from a Community Project Funding request for the acquisition of the rail corridor. In addition, the State of Ohio awarded the project $125,000 to be used as needed to move the project forward. The success of these requests are catalyzing the City of Dayton’s ability to move forward with construction plans for the east-west running Flight Line. The City of Dayton is also willing to evaluate the project for a Community Development Block Grant allocation once the federal budget is finalized and additional funding opportunities are understood. Upon completing acquisition negotiations with Norfolk Southern, expected to conclude mid-2023, the City of Dayton will be ready to begin detailed design and construction work for the Flight Line.
The State of Ohio Clean Ohio Trails Fund provides grant money for construction of recreational trails. Funding allocations are capped at $500,000 per application and require a 25 percent local match. If not utilized for acquisition, this funding source will be utilized for construction costs. The federal Congestion Mitigation/ Air Quality (CMAQ) as well as the Transportation Alternative (TA) funding sources through MVRPC will be sought for future construction. The CMAQ program provides a ﬂexible funding source to State and local governments for transportation projects and programs to help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. The TA program provides funding for projects deﬁned as transportation alternatives, including on and oﬀ road pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Private grants will also be part of the funding plan including sponsorships and foundation grants.
The Flight Line project continues to be identified as a priority by regional partners including the Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (both in 2021 and 2023) and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (in the 2015 Bike Plan, 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, and 2022 Active Transportation Plan).
The Flight Line will transform a blighted rail line into an asset within the historic Dayton neighborhoods of Huffman, St. Anne’s Hill, and Linden Heights, while establishing a regional attraction. We envision a Flight Line trail that improves residents’ mobility and increases their quality of life by adding a new recreation and alternative transportation amenity that incorporates history and art in its design and inspires hope and investment along the corridor.
The northern Flight Line will drive economic development by improving access to regional business and employment centers and by providing a new alternative transit route for thousands of Dayton-region employees. The project completes essential recreation connections for all Miami Valley trail users and supports our region’s reputation as the home of the largest paved trail network.
The City of Dayton submitted a successful Community Project Funding request in the amount of $1.5 million to Congressmen Brown and Turner and was awarded $125,000 in State Capital funding in 2022. This funding will support the acquisition of the entire 6.5 miles of abandoned Norfolk Southern rail corridor that connects both Dayton and Kettering to the Miami Valley region’s 300+ miles of recreational and alternative transportation opportunities.