"Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County, The City of Orrville, John & Lois Douglass, and Catalpadale Dairy have resolved their differences and have settled a pending lawsuit in a collaborative attempt to create a multipurpose, public trail, while preserving the interests of Wayne County farmers. While the details of the settlement agreement are legally confidential, we can tell you that certain easements were granted by all parties which will provide for a non-motorized public path beside a farm lane on the old CA&C Railroad right-of-way between Orrville and Marshallville. Tom Moffit, President of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail Fund, assisted the parties in working together to create a solution, and the beginnings of a mutually-beneficial relationship"
...Don Noble II, RTWC Board President
We are happy to share this story of successfully completing a big step towards the development of The Heartland Trail.
In the spring of 2017, the culvert under the future trail (former railroad bed) west of Coal Bank Road and east of Marshallville, plugged up completely. Rain water was backing up into the field on the south side. It most likely had been a long process that was finally manifesting itself. Neither end of the culvert could be seen.
Several RTWC Board members dug around a low spot on the south side and located what they believed to be the end of the culvert. When the water in the field would get to 4 or 5 feet deep, it would create enough pressure to force the water out a hole near the bank on the north side. However, it was higher than where the culvert should have been. After more hand digging, they found the end of the culvert 15 feet farther north. It was completely plugged and below ground level.
The Board hired Zollinger Excavating to clean a ditch to the north so the water could continue if more digging would get the culvert open. The original railroad drawings state that the culvert is a 2' X 2' stone box culvert which would be sandstone laid up to form a square hole under the railroad. However, the investigation found that at some later time the railroad had added a 24-inch round, cast iron culvert extension to the south side and an 18-inch cast iron culvert to the north end.
The next step was to hire a company to water-jet (high pressure water) the entire culvert to clean out the debris. When this process was used, they were able to get through the cast iron culvert on each side, but could not get through the stone box culvert. Additionally, there was an apparent sunken area above the north side that caused further concern. With the ends clear, they were able to see a large stone blocking the end of the north pipe, with even more stone debris behind it. At this point the Board decided that the easiest solution was to abandon the existing culvert and replace it with a new 24-inch plastic culvert a short distance away from the original.
Without this investment, any time there would be a heavy rain in the spring, the result would be several feet of water backing up into the field. While it would have no effect on our trail, we want to always be good neighbors and not cause drainage problems for others, which would be the would result if we did not take action on problems on our property.
Reading the location of the Sprint line.
We scheduled with Zollinger Excavating again, and on October 5 they dug and installed the new culvert. This is a very difficult task and they did a tremendous job. The really tricky part of the job is the extra care needed due to fiber optic lines buried along each side of the future trail. On one side there is a Sprint line and on the other side there is an AT&T line. To expose those lines and to avoid any chance of collapsing them, significant hand digging must be done with extreme caution. We appreciate Zollinger Excavating working with us on this project, as well as the co-operation and assistance of both of our neighbors.
This was a huge step toward our goal of completing this section of what is destined to be a truly beautiful trail. Your continued support helps us every step of the way.
Careful hand digging around
one of the fiber optic lines.
Fiber optic line cleared.
Beginning to dig on the other side as the AT&T and Sprint representatives watch.