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Oak Harbor's riverwalk project receives $500K in state funding

The total project will cost $2 million, but the grant will lay the foundation of the riverwalk.

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — The village of Oak Harbor has been planning to beautify its riverfront for over a year, and now, money to complete the project is finally coming in.

The plan is to overhaul a 400-foot stretch of Portage Riverfront property, adding improvements like a walkway, amphitheater, shelter house and floating docks.

Proposed Improvements include a walkway, amphitheater, shelter house and floating docks.

The project was proposed to be a part of the 2020 capital budget from the state of Ohio. The money was delayed, but the village will now see $500,000 to help fund the upgrade.

"People in Oak Harbor and the area gather to watch fireworks and they go fishing and eat their lunch, and so it really is a public space. The thought on this is, why don't we take this space and really improve it and make it something that is accessible to everyone," Oak Harbor Mayor Quinton Babcock said.

The entire project will cost around $2 million.

Credit: WTOL 11
Construction of the riverwalk is tentatively slated for 2023

But, Babcock said the incoming $500,000 will be enough to build shoreline protection and install the walkway. He explained the funds could also be used as seed money to show that this project has state approval, and could be leveraged for future fundraising.

"Now we can say we have money on the table. We have $500,000 and we are looking for matching funds for this project," Babcock said.

With this initial funding in place, Babcock said there could be some engineering study and design work done in the next year, with a tentative time table for construction to begin sometime in 2023.