East End closure paves the way for improvements at Sand Run Metro Park
After carefully considering options for the future of the Jogging Trail at Sand Run Metro Park, Summit Metro Parks has determined the section of Sand Run Parkway between Portage Path and Merriman Rd. will remain closed to vehicles to protect wildlife and allow for future trail connections.
The East End (the portion of roadway between Portage Path and Merriman Rd.) was first closed in 2019 due to an aging culvert that could no longer safely support the weight of vehicles.
Pedestrian crossings will be upgraded at Portage Path and Merriman Rd. in 2022 and the existing roadway will be converted to an extension of the Jogging Trail using grant funding in 2023. In the future, the park district hopes to build a paved, ADA-compliant connection to the Towpath Trail at Big Bend.
Surveys showed that most park visitors and community members support the closure. In addition to public input, Summit Metro Parks has considered a variety of factors:
- Road salt and traffic are harmful to surrounding natural resources and sensitive wildlife, such as salamanders and other amphibians.
- As a trail, the road could extend the Jogging Trail and allow for an improved connection to the Towpath Trail at Big Bend.
- The cost to repair the culvert is estimated at nearly $1 million.
The Board of Park Commissioners approved the East End’s permanent closure at its April 12 board meeting. Learn more about improvements currently underway in Sand Run Metro Park: https://bit.ly/RestoringSandRun.