FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: February 5, 2014
CONTACT: Jennifer Reichelt, Deputy City Manager – 455-8417
TWO GREAT FALLS BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN PROJECTS
AWARDED FUNDING FROM STATE
GREAT FALLS, Montana – Two Great Falls bike and pedestrian improvements projects were recently awarded $500,000 in funding through the State’s new Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program! The approved projects include the West Bank Trail ADA Improvements and the Overlook Drive Access Improvements. The grants were submitted jointly by the City’s Planning and Community Development and Park and Recreation Departments, the Trails Working Group and Recreational Trails, Inc. (RTI). Matching funding will be provided by RTI and the State.
The new TA program replaced the former Community Transportation Enhancement Program (CTEP) and provides funding for program and projects which improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school, and other similar plans. Under the new program, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) instituted a statewide competitive selection process. MDT issued a call for projects for Fiscal Year 2013 and Fiscal Year 2014 funding. Approximately $4 million per year was available. The State selected the best projects for construction and will construct the projects themselves. Seventy-two grant applications were received from across the State and 25 projects were awarded funding. Because the program is brand new, it is anticipated that the design will take place in 2014 and construction will begin in 2015.
The West Bank Park Trail ADA Improvements project replaces the deteriorating 4-foot sidewalk in West Bank Park with a new 10 foot concrete path, appropriate for two-way travel with multiple types of users (i.e., bikes, pedestrians, strollers, etc.). The project will also construct a wheel-chair accessible connection between the Trail in West Bank Park and 3rd Avenue Northwest, connecting to the new developments along 3rd Street Northwest.
The Overlook Drive Access Improvements project will construct a shared-use path along Overlook Drive between 10th Avenue South and River’s Edge Trail (where it climbs the hill to Warden Park). This is currently a significant gap in the City’s bike and pedestrian network, and the improvements will provide a safe connection between the Trail and Broadwater Bay and destinations along 10th Avenue South. Upon completion of Sun River Trail (a City and State project now under design) along the north side of Country Club Boulevard, residents in southwest Great Falls will have a continuous, safe connection to River’s Edge Trail from the west.
According to Andrew Finch, Senior Transportation Planner, “These two projects are important to the City. They help fill the gaps in our existing bike and pedestrian system and will better connect River’s Edge Trail to the neighborhoods.” For more information about these projects and the award contact Andrew Finch at 455-8434.