State funds $44 million for local bicycle, pedestrian projects

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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) The cities of Waco and Belton are receiving funding to develop new ways for pedestrians and bicyclists to get around their communities.

In a press release Saturday, the Texas Transportation Commission announced that 46 projects across the state would receive a total of $44 million in federal funding as part of the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program, or TASA, which supports population areas of 200,000 or less.

Three of the projects are located in Central Texas.

In Belton, the Belton Shared Use Path will build a two-way, 12-foot-wide path for bicycle and pedestrian use along Holland Road/FM 436 South Wall Street and the Interstate 35 northbound frontage road.

The road then heads north along the frontage road between Holland Road and Confederate Park Drive before reaching Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail in Confederate Park.

The Belton Shared Use Path seeks to connect neighborhoods east of the interstate to areas west of it, including UMHB, downtown Belton, and public facilities.

Waco has two bike/pedestrian projects funded by TASA: one along historic Elm Avenue, and another near 11th and 12th Streets and Gurley Lane.

The Elm Avenue project seeks to reconstruct sidewalks, provide historic lighting, provide ADA-accessible ramps, crosswalks, shade trees, benches, and trash receptacles.

The Elm Avenue project also extends curbs and provides bike lanes.

Meanwhile, Waco's 11th and 12th Street project will construct 6-foot sidewalks along 11th and 12th Streets from Columbus Avenue to Garden Drive and along Gurley Lane from South 10th Street to South 27th Street, while also providing bike lanes along 2.6 miles of 11th and 12th Streets.

Both Waco projects seek to enhance pedestrian and biking transportation between downtown Waco, Baylor University, South Waco Elementary School, and surrounding residential areas.