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Bloomington Trails To Get Facelift

Last updated on Thursday, September 6, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) - The pedestrian and bicycle trails weaving through Bloomington could soon receive a facelift.

Gov. Mitch Daniels reinstated the Recreational Trails Program, which originally began in 1994, on August 23. The program will provide more than 100 trails with $14.5 million in federal funds.

The program is intended for the development of recreational trails and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.

IDS reports that the funding will be used to extend trails, create new paths and refurbish those in need.

Dave Williams, operations director of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, said Monroe County and the City of Bloomington have plans to build more multi-use trails.

"Our existing trail systems, Clear Creek Trail, Bloomington Rail Trail and the B-Line Trail, are in good shape," Williams said. "Our priority will be to continue development of the multi-phased Cascades Park and Jackson Creek Trail systems based on available funding."

Through the Hoosiers on the Move plan initially announced in 2006, Daniels said in a press release, he plans to have a trail within 7.5 miles or 15 minutes of every Indiana resident by 2016.

Daniels said he hopes to reach the goal in the next two years with the assistance of Recreational Trails Program funding.

Funding for the RTP program will be distributed through the Federal Highway Trust Fund and local assistance from Community Development Funds, tax sources and other loans.

Applicants may receive between $10,000 and $150,000 for trail projects.

The Moving Ahead for Progress program, which was recently passed by Congress, will begin Oct. 1 and continue for the next two fiscal years.

The funding will cover all types of Indiana trails, including bicycle and pedestrian greenways, equestrian courses and any trails for motorized vehicles.

Projects eligible for funding include operation and educational programs, bridge and crosswalk construction, sanitary construction and the rehabilitation
of trails.

The Recreational Trails Program is funded through the Department of Natural Resources Division of Outdoor Recreation.

More than 100 miles of trails have already been completed with the funding, Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Director Steve Morris said in a press release.

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