CLEVELAND — Ohio's State Controlling Board has approved funding for a trail that will link Cleveland's Wendy Park to Cleveland's Flats.

The board approved $198,750 toward the project, called the Cleveland Foundation Lake Link Trail North-Mulberry to Willow Street Bridge. The total project cost is $530,000. Clean Ohio Trails Fund assistance will also fund a portion of the trail's construction phase, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Cleveland Metroparks will build the 700-foot trail connecting the existing end of the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail through the Willow Street Bridge to the Wendy Park Bridge. 

The Wendy Park Bridge (a project that has been discussed for years) is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021. The goal of the planned 500-foot structure is to link downtown, the Flats and the Towpath Trail to Wendy Park and Lake Erie. 

The 12-foot-wide bridge will feature paths for both walkers and bikers, and will span over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks currently separating Wendy Park from the rest of Cleveland. Officials say it will also provide better access to the historic Coast Guard station. 

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