Carolina Beach To Seek Grant For New Harper Avenue Bike Path

Carolina Beach To Seek Grant For New Harper Avenue Bike Path Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 25 March 2015 04:00

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CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council approved a resolution to seek $222,151.50 in grant funding for a bike path on Harper Avenue from 6th Street to Dow Road during their March 24th, meeting. Town Manager Michael Cramer said normally the Council would not be asked to vote on something at a workshop meeting, but in order to apply for the grant prior to the deadline, Council would need to give direction and adopt a resolution.
According to Town Project Manager Jerry Haire, "Funding for bike-ped. facilities is currently available through the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization WMPO Surface Transportation Program – Direct Appointment Funding (STP-DA) grant program. The proposed project is for construction of approximately 2104 lf (.4 miles) of 10’ wide paved off-road MUP along the south side of Harper Ave. from Dow Rd east to 6th St."
Haire explained the grant for the project is, "In the same family" as previous grants obtained for a 1.2 mile Island Greenway project from Mike Chappel Park to Alabama Avenue and a multi-use path along Cape Fear Blvd.
He explained, "STP grant has been coming in about $1.2 to $1.3 million a year total for the MPO. This grant this year only has $221,000 dollars in it. Actually, it's so little money that they didn't get any applications for it. They extended the deadline for 60 days. The new deadline is April 3rd. Last we heard they had no other applications and we talked to MPO staff and they said 'why don't you go for it."
He said, "We proposed to go for the entire amount... we looked around and looked at the Master Plan and said what can we do with $220,000 plus a 20% match" by the Town.
Town Manager Michael Cramer explained, "Typically the way you handle grants is, when the grants come up you put up a conceptual plan to receive the grant funding. Basically they approve you to get the grant funding. At that point you go out and start doing the public process. Ok, we have a concept plan which is based off of our bike and pedestrian plan. We have funding associated to it, now what do you want in that place. At that point the answer can always come back, we don't want anything and we just don't take the grant. You have to get the money before you start that process. I would hate to go and get everybody's hopes up and say here's this greatest idea and then we have no money and it's going to sit on a shelf."
He said, "The next piece of this would be going out to the public, getting their comments and their feedback on it and then bringing back a design."
Haire explained the grant request is for $222,151.50 with a required 20% Town cash match of $58,648.50 for a total project cost of $$280,800. A resolution is required in support of the grant application. The Multi-Use Path (MUP) route begins at the southeast intersection of Dow Rd. and Harper Rd. and continues east within the existing 90’ street right-of-way. The MUP provides an important extension of the existing greenway that currently terminates on the west side of Dow Rd. across from Harper Ave.
Haire explained, "The grant request is for the full amount of TAP funds available for this cycle. At this time there are no other applicants for the funding. With Council approval staff will seek future grant funds to continue the MUP and/or other bike-ped. facilities along Harper to Lake Park Blvd. The proposed MUP provides another link and extension for the Tow’s pedestrian and bicycle system connecting the busy Central Business District and Boardwalk area, Carolina Beach Public Library, surrounding neighborhoods, and the heavily traveled Dow Rd. corridor. The project is in close proximity to Carolina Beach Elementary School, Lake Park, and the 1.2 mile Greenway section under development beginning at Mike Chappell Park."
He explained, "The project is identified as a top priority in the Carolina Beach Bicycle Multi-Use Transportation Plan adopted in 2011. It is also noted as priority in the Wilmington/New Hanover County Comprehensive Greenway Plan."
The Council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution and directed the grant application be submitted.


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