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Photo courtesy of North Carolina Department of Transportation

Hickory Metro Communities To Receive Grants To Study Feasibility For Sidewalks, Paths Or Greenways

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), 25 North Carolina cities, towns and counties, including communities in the Hickory Metro, are receiving feasibility grants so they can determine whether a new sidewalk, bicycle path or greenway would be a good fit in their communities. More than $2 million in state grants has been approved by the N.C. Board of Transportation, the group that establishes policies and priorities for the state Department of Transportation.

The communities receiving grants for feasibility studies include Hildebran and Long View. Boone is also slated to receive a grant. The Western Piedmont Council of Governments applied on behalf of Long View and Hildebran. Staff in the NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division recommended the 25 communities for feasibility study grants, based on applications the communities had to submit by January 9.

A total of $2.06 million in state grants will cover the entire cost of the feasibility studies for 19 communities, while the other six communities will also receive about $388,000 in supplemental funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Feasibility studies will evaluate the viability of a transportation project, complete initial stages of design and environmental review, and develop implementation strategies.

Public input will play an important role in each study’s conclusions. A feasibility study enables communities to examine route alternatives, develop cost estimates, and advance projects to compete for additional funding for design and construction. The types of projects to be considered include paths that can be shared by walkers, runners and cyclists, paved trails, greenways and sidewalks.