The City of Oak Ridge has received a $1.2 million grant that it can use for the proposed Rails to Trails project.
The executive board of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization approved the grant in October, said Ellen Zavisca, senior transportation planner.
It could be used for project planning and property acquisition for the Rails to Trails project, and possibly to start construction, said Jon Hetrick, Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department director.
Hetrick said the grant was awarded by TPO, but it’s actually a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant. The city is entering into a contract with TDOT for the grant, and the Oak Ridge City Council could consider accepting the grant in July.
Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson briefly mentioned the $1.2 million grant during a budget presentation to City Council members on Tuesday of this week. The city would administer the $1.2 million grant but would have to follow certain TDOT requirements.
The Rails to Trails project would convert a few miles of former railway that runs through the center of Oak Ridge into a bicycle and pedestrian trail. The railway runs from Melton Lake Drive in east Oak Ridge; past Jefferson Middle School and near the Hank’s Market shopping center in central Oak Ridge; and to the Y-12 National Security Complex. [Read more…]