Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rick Tollefson Trail in line for grant funds

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) issued a report to the Legislature in December 2008 pertaining to the grant programs for Safe Routes to Schools and Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety.

Jefferson County Public Works submitted a proposal for consideration under the Ped & Bike Safety program to complete the funding needed to design and construct phase 1 of the Rick Tollefson Trail (RTT) in the Tri-Area of Jefferson County. The RTT is a non-motorized, multi-use path that will eventually run from central Port Hadlock to the Chimacum school campus along State Route 19. The centerpiece of the RTT is the phase 1 stretch from Chimacum Road near the Bob Bates Fields to the northeast corner of HJ Carroll Park by way of the Chimacum valley and over the Chimacum Creek via short bridges.

The WSDOT report lists RTT phase 1 as the #9 project among 92 total. (See page 19 of the PDF.) The first 16 projects in this competitive process are anticipated to be funded. However, the final word will come from the State Legislature in setting the budget during the 2009 session. The County is very hopeful that our project will receive grant funding this year and be ready for construction next year.

The RTT will provide a relatively direct (and enjoyable) path for bicylists and pedestrians (including wheelchairs and strollers) connection between widely-used amenities, which will enable non-motorized travel that avoids busy roadways. The overall goal of the project is to construct an attractive, universally supported, and well-used multi-use trail that is part of a non-motorized network in the Tri-Area. More information on the project can be found in the County's 2009-2014 Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program.

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