Trail sealant to last longer, seal faster, be less slippery

Slippery Elm Trail


BG Independent News


The Slippery Elm Trail will soon be sealed with a product that promises to last longer, seal faster, and be well, despite the trail’s name, less slippery.

The Wood County Park District Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to pay $119,552 to seal the 13-mile trail from Bowling Green to North Baltimore. The price includes striping of the trail at intersections along the route.

The product being used this time is called Onyx, by Strawser Construction in Columbus.

Ned Fairbanks, the park district maintenance specialist, said the product has a proven record of creating a stronger surface that will last longer. The sealing product also remains black since it does not fade in the sun like other sealants used in the past. That will help with melting the snow, since the district does not salt or plow the Slippery Elm Trail.

The Onyx also has a quick setting time, meaning less time that the trail would have to be closed to users, Fairbanks said.

“Within a matter of hours, it’s usable,” he said.

That’s a real plus, said Wood County Park District Director Neil Munger.

“As soon as they sealcoat it, we’ve got people chomping at the bit to use it,” he said.

And unlike some other sealants, the Onyx provides a non-slick surface.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t using something that if someone is rollerblading and it’s wet, that they’re down,” said Jeff Baney, assistant director of the county park district.

The sealant also comes with a one-year warranty.

Baney said sealants used in the past on the 12-foot wide trail have lasted about three years. This product should last about nine, he said.

“We’re looking for longevity of the asphalt,” Fairbanks said.

The park district has not used Onyx before, but the city of Bowling Green has used it on Pearl Street, with good results, Baney said.

“The people I talked to thought it was really good,” he said.

The park district plans for the resealing to take place sometime this spring, probably being done in sections.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the park district board:

  • Approved the rappelling and bouldering program at Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve.
  • Released the grant funding approved last year for improvements to local parks throughout the county.
  • Agreed to try for Ohio Department of Transportation Roadway Funds, which can be used for driveways and parking lots at county parks.
  • Heard praise from board chairman Denny Parish about the photographs of Wood County parks now on display in the Four Corners office in downtown Bowling Green. The photos will be on exhibit for the month of March.
  • Agreed to demolish the old scale house on the former Mid-Wood property that the park district owns along the Slippery Elm Trail in Rudolph. The building is too small to be converted into ADA accessible restrooms, so the board decided to have it torn down for $3,200.
  • Heard from Munger that Don Scherer plans to make a presentation to the park board about possible ways the park district could participate in a solar power project.
  • Agreed to have the park headquarters parking lot sealed with the Onyx coating for $4,232.
  • Talked about setting up an early levy committee in preparation for the park levy being on the ballot in the fall of 2018.
  • Held an executive session to discuss land acquisition, but took no action following it.