TOLEDO, Ohio — A $23.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was awarded to the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government Projects (TMACOG) to aid in further developing the downtown riverfront.
Toledo Metroparks and the City of Toledo will join TMACOG and other area groups in developing a multi-use trail to link businesses, neighborhoods and points of interest along both sides of the Maumee River.
"We finally have the pieces and the plan. We know how to make it happen. This grant today is further validation that this is the right direction to go. This is going to work," said Director of Public Relations for Toledo Metroparks, Scott Carpenter, following the announcement.
Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown both wrote letters of endorsement earlier this year following TMACOG's application for the grant, highlighting the council's proposed project.
On Thursday, multiple Ohio politicians including Brown, Portman and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur announced the approval of the grant in separate statements.
“The Glass City Riverwalk will not only connect neighborhoods and businesses within the Toledo area, but also serve as a regional attraction,” said Brown, who had helped secure funding for the source of the grant, the BUILD program, in 2019. “Moving forward with this project is a big win for Toledo and look forward to its completion.”
Portman's statement praised Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao's approval of the grant.
“This is great news for the City of Toledo and I want to thank Secretary Chao for her support to bring these improvements to the city’s downtown area. This grant will help the city create the Glass City Riverwalk, which would connect neighborhoods and businesses on both sides of the Maumee River,” said Portman. “This project will transform the downtown Toledo riverfront and as a result boost opportunities for job creation and economic growth.”
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur also released a statement regarding the grant and the benefits it will bring to Toledoans by providing even more opportunities for recreation along the Maumee River.
“I am extraordinarily pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation will invest over $23 million to improve the public spaces along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo,” said Kaptur. “This funding will help construct more than one mile of shared-use paths, transient docks, transit facilities, bike and kayak sharing facilities, and important repairs to the existing seawall along the Maumee River. This project, which will be carried out by TMACOG and Toledo Metroparks, will have a direct positive impact on our shared Toledo community."
The letters of recommendation as written by Senators Portman and Brown following TMACOG's grant application can be read below.