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The City of Lawrence in February announced that the Municipal Services and Operations Department has received a Transportation Alternatives Program grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation for Fiscal Year 2020.
The grant, in the amount of $480,000, requires a 20-percent match and was provided to aid in the completion of a 10-foot shared use path for sections of the Lawrence Loop from Eighth Street to 11th Street and 29th Street from Burroughs Creek Trail to Haskell Avenue.
Now the city is putting its own plans in action to not only build these sections of the Loop but continue to plan for more development. First, on June 18 the initial proposed 2020 budget included $350,000 in city funding to match the KDOT grant. Then, on July 7 a budget work group, led by Mayor Lisa Larsen and Commissioner Stuart Boley, proposed including an additional $700,000 in city funds — as well as a proposed $400,000 in grants, yet to be secured — to the city’s 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan. LiveWell Douglas County was one of many community organizations and residents that worked with Friends of Lawrence Area Trails to advocate for City funding of the Loop.
Finally, on July 16 the Lawrence City Commission authorized the city manager to execute a service agreement for an engineering study of the Lawrence Loop with Bartlett & West. Phase one of the study will develop the actual alignment of the Loop from 11th Street to Eighth Street that will be built in 2020 with KDOT grant funds and city matching dollars. The second phase of the study will result in a conceptual design of the Loop from Eighth Street to the Burcham Trail at Constant Park.
This will position the city well to apply for grants to build this additional section that will close what is now one of three remaining large gaps in the Loop.
“We are hopeful with these recent developments that 2020 will be an exciting year of progress for community members who use the Lawrence Loop,” said Chris Tilden, chair of LiveWell’s Healthy Built Environment Workgroup.