BY DAVID FISHER
MARTIN (May 6) — On Wednesday, May 6, state officials announced the City of Martin was awarded a $1.25 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for Phase 8 of a project designed to improve pedestrian access along Elm Street. The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant includes construction of sidewalks, curb and gutter, drainage improvements, landscaping, pavement markings, pedestrian lighting, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades.
Martin Mayor Randy Brundige said grant funding helps cover the cost of enhancing pedestrian access along Elm Street. He noted Phase 7 begins at University Street and continues to Lee Street. He added the grant the city just received continues sidewalk improvements on Elm Street starting at Lee Street and continuing to the intersection of Peach Street.
Mayor Brundige stated TDOT funding covers 80 percent ($1 million) of the grant and the City of Martin is responsible for the remaining 20 percent ($250,000).
“We applied for the grant one year ago, and it will be two to three years before we can get started on it,” the mayor said.
He noted Phase 6 is the city’s sidewalk improvement project is now underway along University Street at UT Martin.
When asked how many phases are planned for sidewalk improvement projects, Mayor Brundige said, “This is the last phase we have applied for.”
The $1.25 million TAP grant awarded to Martin is one of 12 grants announced statewide totaling $10,328,312.
“This is great news for Martin,” said Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon). “Sidewalks offer many benefits to communities with the most important being pedestrian safety. This is a sizable grant and we appreciate TDOT and Governor Lee for their role in awarding it. I also appreciate the hard work done by our local officials in helping to secure it and look forward to seeing the improvements this project will bring.”
“Increasing safety, promoting healthy lifestyles and providing improved access to our cities and towns make our communities better places to live and work,” said Gov. Lee. “I’m pleased the state can provide the support necessary to move these projects forward.”
The transportation alternatives grant is made possible through a federally funded program and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“Through these grants, TDOT has funded $397 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”
The TAP program began providing funds to local governments in 1991. It is a competitive grant program. The money is used for such projects as sidewalks, bike and pedestrian trails and to renovate historic train depots and other transportation-related structures.
A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.
BY DAVID FISHER