Moonville Tunnel

Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program and the generous donations of residents, a new bridge is set to be constructed over Raccoon Creek by the Moonville Rail Trail Association.

The grant, awarded in 2017, covers $439,000 of the project but after estimates were calculated, deadlines extended, and grant funds increased, the project was short $2,423.50. After MRTA posted on Facebook informing the public of the situation, donors lined up to cover the difference.

“We would like to thank everyone who made last-minute contributions to this project. It may not have happened without your support,” thanked Caleb Appleman, Vinton County Marketing Director.

The reason for the high price tag is due to the bridges length and highway-grade requirements as well as the multiple times engineering was done.

This bridge is one of three that is missing from Zaleski to Moonville Tunnel and has the longest span of any others along the trail. All three bridges have had engineering completed and trees have been cleared in order to accommodate production.

While the bridge is yet unnamed, it is located near the double-cut, an area where the trail is intersected by the creek and Hope-Moonville Road.

Construction will begin next year on the seven bridges left to be renovated between the Moonville and Kings Hollow Tunnels. The projects will be funded by a $1.2 million {span}Ohio Department of Natural Resources mine reclamation grant.

Shuttle buses won’t be needed during the next Midnight at Moonville Festival, planned for Oct. 9, 2021, once the bridges are finished and a mile and a half worth of trail will be added.

The trail is also in consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Ohio History Connection has already unanimously approved the application and the official decision is made by the National Parks Service.

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