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Great Stone Viaduct Trail

Great Stone Viaduct Trail

Great Stone Viaduct Trail

Great Stone Viaduct Trail

Great Stone Viaduct Trail


An iconic landmark in need of restoration was repurposed to an attractive recreation space.

Services Involved

  • Civil Engineering
  • Trail Design
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Ecological Survey
  • Environmental Site Assessment
  • ODOT Categorical Exclusion (NEPA approval)
  • Cultural Resource Coordination
  • Public Involvement
  • Bridge Design
  • Retaining Wall Design
  • Water Resource Engineering
  • Cost Estimation


Historic Bridge Award

The Federal Highway Administration, The Ohio Department of Transportation, The State Historic Preservation Office, and The County Engineers Association of Ohio

Great Stone Viaduct Trail

The Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society (GSVHES) collaborated with ms consultants to reinvigorate a historic railroad viaduct. The viaduct is a pillar of the community in Bellaire, Ohio, but it remained unused for decades.


Now, this rail-to-trail project not only preserves the iconic landmark but has also transformed the area into a walking path and plaza. After 10 years of work and planning, GSVHES was able to bring its dream of restoration into reality.


Once a railroad bridge, the Great Stone Viaduct and the surrounding area are now home to a shared-use trail and plaza.


The new, shared-use path trail is approximately 2,000 feet long and includes a new, 11-space parking lot at the trailhead. The trail provides access along the abandoned CSX right-of-way to the historic Great Stone Viaduct.


The Great Stone Viaduct, a multi-span stone arch bridge constructed in the 1870s, was repurposed as a shared-use path and trail. The prominence of the bridge walkway also creates a space for pedestrians to stroll and view the nearby sights, including the Ohio River valley.


The Great Stone Viaduct was built in 1871 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to carry north and eastbound rail service across the Ohio River. The 43-stone arch viaduct is reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct.


In 1996, the 20-arch portion of the Great Stone Viaduct was abandoned. In 2015, GSVHES raised local funds to purchase the abandoned viaduct and several surrounding acres. The dream? Development and preservation of this iconic local landmark. Thanks to the dedication of GSVHES, an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant, ODOT District 11, the ms team, and other dedicated groups, the Great Stone Viaduct is now a local destination.


Contaminated soil management was a significant component of the Great Stone Viaduct project. CSX established a soil management plan protocol as part of the agreement when GSVHES acquired the property. All excavated soil on the project must remain on site, and all surfaces accessible to pedestrians must either be capped or signage and fencing provided to ensure that pedestrians do not encounter the existing soil.


ms also performed the following tasks for the project:


  • Environmental services, including ecological survey
  • Environmental site assessment and soil management plan
  • Cultural resources, including SHPO coordination
  • ODOT Categorical Exclusion (NEPA approval)
  • Permitting
  • Field survey
  • Trail design and trailhead/parking lot design
  • Drainage design, including best management practices
  • Landscaping plan, including park plaza beneath the viaduct
  • Bridge design, including new concrete deck and ornamental railing
  • Retaining wall design
  • Stakeholder and public involvement coordination
  • CSX railroad coordination
  • Final construction plans
  • Cost estimates and ongoing services during construction


The Great Stone Viaduct project is an excellent example of realizing a vision to improve and provide a valuable and attractive resource to a part of Ohio that has limited access to outdoor resources. The project opened in the fall of 2022.

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