Stimulus Update: $23 million allocated

Stimulus Update: $23 million allocated

The mayor announced today $23 million in stimulus funds that will be divided among the Newtown Pike Extension, Legacy Trail, LexTran, and downtown streetscape projects.

The Lexington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, involving officials from both Fayette and Jessamine counties, voted Wednesday to allocate the funds, including $12 million for Newtown extension; $5.4 million for LexTran; $4.7 million for the Legacy Trail; and $1.1 million for the downtown streetscape project.

Newtown Pike Extension
Newberry said the $12 million for Newtown Pike Extension will be used to help construct the section of road that connects Main Street (at Newtown Pike) to Versailles Road. The 1700-foot-long section will be the first part of the four-lane boulevard to be built. A key partner in work on Newtown Extension is the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and its local District 7 office.

The project also includes a bridge over Town Branch, approximately 2,500 feet of new sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs and gutters and new street lights.

LexTran General Manager Rocky Burke said the $5.4 million in stimulus funds LexTran will receive will be used for new buses, shelters, scheduling software, communications, conversion of buses to hybrid technology and for other needs.

Legacy Trail
Steve Austin, director of the Legacy Center at the Blue Grass Community Foundation, said the funds for the Legacy Trail will allow for completion of the first two phases of the trail from the Kentucky HorsePark to the Northside YMCA on Loudon Avenue, more than seven miles,
the longest trail in the county. The final phase stretches from the Northside YMCA to the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden on Third Street.

Newberry said he is actively pursuing funding sources for the final phase so the entire trail can be completed in time for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010.

The Legacy Trail was identified by citizens as a priority “legacy” initiative, a permanent project that could grow out of the World Games. The other legacy project identified by citizens is the revitalization of the Third Street corridor. The termination point for the Legacy Trail, at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, is part of that corridor. The Legacy Center is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Downtown Streetscapes
Harold Tate, President and Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority said the $1.1 million for the first phase of the downtown streetscape project, Main Street from Broadway to Elm Tree Lane, will enable the city to move forward with a plan to install
curbside rain gardens, wider sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes and non-peak “parking lanes.” The wider sidewalks will accommodate sidewalk cafes and gathering spaces.