RALEIGH – Additional federal grant funding will be directed toward a major trail project connecting Transylvania and Henderson counties.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Thursday announced the project to construct the Ecusta Trail between Brevard and Hendersonville will receive $21.4 million through its Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Transportation Projects (NSFLTP) grant program. The project was among seven nationwide to be awarded a combined $130.5 million in NSFLTP grants.
“USDOT’s recent investments of over $45 million to construct the Ecusta Trail will have a lasting positive impact on mobility, safety and economic vitality in Brevard, Hendersonville and surrounding areas,” said Julie White, NCDOT deputy secretary for multimodal transportation. “The strong, longstanding partnerships between NCDOT and local leaders made this possible and will continue to be crucial as we implement the project.”
The Ecusta Trail will be constructed along 18 miles of unused rail corridor. The project will repair or replace railroad trestles for bicycle and pedestrian use, reviving the old railroad bed into a path for cyclists, hikers and others. When complete, the path will be a safe alternative to many cyclists and pedestrians who would otherwise have to share winding mountain roads with vehicles.
The announcement comes a week after USDOT earmarked the same project for $24.5 million in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, grant funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That brings the combined discretionary grant funding total to $45.9 million for the Ecusta Trail.
NCDOT partnered with Brevard on both grants and will administer the project.
For more information on NCDOT Integrated Mobility Division (IMD) programs, initiatives and partnerships, visit NCDOT Integrated Mobility Division.