Among the more than $25 million in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure grant funds approved by the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) on Thursday was $2.1 million that will be used to extend Belton's Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail.
The new approximately 3/4 mile addition will extend the trail from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to Sparta Road, providing safe pedestrian and bicycle traveling routes to nearby schools, parks and shopping areas.
"This grant helps address the challenge of safely crossing the railroad tracks in the middle of town," Belton Grants and Special Projects Coordinator Aaron Harris, said. "The plan is to build an underpass at the tracks adjacent to UMHB."
Earlier this year the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced a call for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) projects in small urban and non-urban areas. Using federal TAP funding, the TTC then authorized funding for 17 small urban projects in September and 33 non-urban projects at Thursday’s meeting.
“We are pleased to have these projects approved as we work with our local communities to enhance their local multi-modal transportation systems,” said Bobby Littlefield, District Engineer for TxDOT’s Waco District.
In accordance with TxDOT’s TAP rules, eligible project activities were limited to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects, and the TAP funding was identified for construction only. It is anticipated that all TxDOT selected 2015 TAP projects will be let for construction within three years.