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Federal, state funding set aside to improve trails network throughout Maryland

Patrons of Maryland’s vast network of hiking, biking and walking trails should soon be seeing an infusion of improvements through federal and state grants, state officials said Monday.

“These grants are helping us enhance quality of life and provide additional safe bike and pedestrian opportunities,” Gov. Hogan said in a news release.

Hogan said that $16.8 million in grant funding will support 42 of the state’s bicycle and pedestrian projects. Improvements will include new bike lanes, rebuilding trails, and connectivity improvements within the trail systems.

According to the release, $12.4 million in Transportation Alternatives Program funding and $1 million in Recreational Trails Program funding will be combined with an additional $3.4 million in state funding from the Maryland Department of Transportation Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program to fund the improvements.

“Bicycle and pedestrian facilities are key components of Maryland’s broad, multimodal transportation strategy,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said in the release. “Through these state and federal grant programs, we’re delivering projects that preserve and enhance Maryland’s cultural, historical, and environmental attributes and make them safe and accessible for everyone.”

TAP funding, according to the release, will rehabilitate 18 miles of the C&O Canal towpath in Allegheny County; retrofit stormwater outfall and construct a stream valley restoration in Anne Arundel County’s South River watershed; construct a multi-use trail at Greenbelt Metro Station in Prince George’s County; design 8.9 miles of on-street bikeways and pedestrian crossing improvements in Salisbury; and complete the design of connectivity upgrades to Beach Elementary School in Calvert County.

RTP funding, according to the release, will be utilized to “improve and preserve the statewide recreational trail network.”

According to the release, funding will be used to construct a 0.75 mile multi-use crushed stone trail in Washington County; construct 2,800 feet of new Cox Creek Community Trail in Anne Arundel County; construction of a 2-mile natural surface trail connecting the Hollofield area of Patapsco Valley State Park to Sylvan Lane in Ellicott City in Howard County; and restore 2,095 feet of trail between the Catoctin Furnace ruins and the Manor Area of Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick County.

Under the Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program, the release said, key connections in the bicycle networks of Baltimore City will be constructed; an extension and widening of Poplar Trail in Annapolis will be constructed; funding will also be used to evaluate shared-use paths in Baltimore County; and bike racks will be installed on Prince George’s County transit vehicles.

Other improvements include bike repair stations in Harford County and to study and design bicycle connections in Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties and in the town of Luke in Allegheny County, Frederick and LaPlata.

In addition, Howard County will use funding for a shared-use path along Ten Oaks Road, Guilford Road, and Clarksville Pike.

This article was originally posted on Federal, state funding set aside to improve trails network throughout Maryland

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