RALEIGH – Twenty-five North Carolina cities, towns and counties are receiving feasibility grants so they can determine whether a new sidewalk, bicycle path or greenway would be a good fit in their communities.
The good news came this week, thanks to over $2 million in state grants approved by the N.C. Board of Transportation, the group that establishes policies and priorities for the state Department of Transportation.
“We’re excited because this money will allow these communities to take the first step toward something that could have a lasting, positive impact,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “We know that bike and walking paths help connect communities and improve the quality of life for residents in immeasurable ways.”
The communities receiving grants for feasibility studies are: Apex, Asheboro, Asheville, Boone, Burnsville, Gastonia, Greensboro, Hendersonville, Hildebran, Jacksonville, Kure Beach, Long View, Lumberton, Morrisville, Navassa, Waxhaw, West Jefferson, Wilkesboro and Wilmington. Also receiving grants are the following counties: Cleveland, Granville, Jackson, Johnston, Person and Warren. To see more about the communities receiving grants, visit pages 25-28 of the Board of Transportation’s agenda.
The following organizations applied on behalf of towns and counties: Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization for Navassa and Wilmington; Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments for Granville County; East Coast Greenway Alliance for Kure Beach; Catawba Lands Conservancy for Gastonia; Land of Sky Regional Council for Asheville; Western Piedmont Council of Governments for Long View and Hildebran; and the Southwestern Commission for Jackson County.
Staff in the NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division recommended the 25 communities for feasibility study grants, based on applications the communities had to submit by Jan. 9.
A total of $2.06 million in state grants will cover the entire cost of the feasibility studies for 19 communities, while the other six communities will also receive about $388,000 in supplemental funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Feasibility studies will evaluate the viability of a transportation project, complete initial stages of design and environmental review, and develop implementation strategies. Public input will play an important role in each study’s conclusions. A feasibility study enables communities to examine route alternatives, develop cost estimates, and advance projects to compete for additional funding for design and construction.
The types of projects to be considered include paths that can be shared by walkers, runners and cyclists, paved trails, greenways and sidewalks.
For more information, visit NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division Feasibility Studies Program.