By Doug Hylton
At a ceremony held at the Governor’s Reception Hall on the afternoon of May 18, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin presented four Greenbrier County communities with a total of $944,000 in grant programs for sidewalk planning and construction. The city of Lewisburg received two grants for a total of $248,800, the city of Ronceverte received two grants for $133,000, the city of White Sulphur Springs received $287,200 and the town of Rainelle received $75,000.
These funds are made available through the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways Transportation Alternatives programs.Representatives for the county, Senator Ron Miller and Delegate George “Boogie” Ambler were on hand for the presentations to congratulate each community.
Two projects in the city of Lewisburg were funded that will go toward the construction of new sidewalks along Feamster Street from Court Street to Dorie Miller Park on Maple Street and for the planning and construction of replacement sidewalks along US 219 South along Jefferson Street from Foster Street to Austin Street. The city received $200,000 toward continued planning and construction along Feamster Street. This sidewalk will run along the south side of Feamster Street. The project has received two previous grants and with this allocation represents a total of $588,800 in grant funding from the DOH for the project.
A second grant of $248,800 was award that will go toward the planning and construction for the replacement of the sidewalk along US 219 South along Jefferson Street from Foster Street to Austin Street. It will also allow for improvements along McClung Street to make that connection with Jefferson ADA compliant.
White Sulphur Springs’ efforts to improve their sidewalks along Main Street from Big Draft Road to the Greenbrier Resort properties along US Route 60 were augmented with the receipt of a third grant for $287,200 to be used for planning and construction of streetscape upgrades. White Sulphur Spring’s streetscape has now received a total of $788,200 in grant funds through the Transportation Alternative program for the Main Street Streetscape Phases 2 and 3.
Rainelle and Ronceverte were awarded a total of three grants for planning for Main Street streetscape improvements. In Rainelle, planning will be completed for sidewalk upgrades from Seventh Street to Twelfth Streets along Kanawha Avenue. The town has previously received funds for the first phase of the streetscape upgrades with design completed for the Avenue from First Street to Seventh Street. This first phase is awaiting design approval from the Division of Highways where it will be then placed out for construction sometime in 2016-17. Rainelle is just completing two grants through the Safe Routes to School program that has seen to sidewalk and crossing replacement along Kanawha Avenue from Dogwood Lane to Sumac Street to support access to the Rainelle Elementary School.
Ronceverte received a total of $133,000 toward the planning for sidewalk replacement on the north side and south sides of Main Street from Cedar Street to Spruce Streets. The city of Ronceverte is just completing the replacement of all the downtown commercial sidewalks with the completion of two sidewalk replacements along Edgar Avenue between Cedar Street and Chestnut Street, and from Frankford Road to Cherry Street along Main Street and from Greenbrier Avenue to Main Street along Frankford Road with lighting upgrades and replacement of benches, planters and landscaping and the repair of the historic Edgar Marker on the corner of Frankford Road and Main Street. This portion of the streetscape replacement represents over $550,000 in sidewalk replacement on Edgar Avenue and Main Streets through two previously received TA grants.
The West Virginia Division of Highways Transportation Alternative program provides funds to communities for the following project:
• Construction, planning and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
• Construction, planning and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
• Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists or other nonmotorized transportation users.
• Construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas.
• Inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising.
• Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
• Vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species and provide erosion control.
• Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under this title.
• Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to address stormwater management, control and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 133(b)(11), 328(a) and 329; or reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.