JONESBORO – Arkansas State University received a $500,000 grant toward the expansion of the Pedestrian and Cyclist (PAC) Paths program from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.
The grant from AHTD’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is the first for A-State and was one of nine maximum possible from the federally funded program. It was the largest grant to a state university in the 2016 awarded projects.
“We are excited to receive this grant as it will begin work on the construction on the Campus Loop Trail, a multi-use campus trail that will accommodate bicycles and pedestrians,” head of campus planning Bill Hall said. “The construction limits of the project will be determined during the design phase which will begin soon.”
As the first and currently only Bicycle Friendly University in Arkansas, A-State’s commitment to creating a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists received a major boost with the grant.
“Continuing to improve our accommodations along the PAC Paths is an important goal for A-State,” executive director of marketing and communications Dr. Bill Smith said. “Working with our university community, we’ve developed a master plan for campus that includes future projects like the Campus Loop Trail.”
The federally supported grant is for construction activities only and requires an 80-20 match from Arkansas State.
“It shows a significant commitment by the university to provide the design work as well as the construction match,” Hall said.
Starting from the western border of campus, the proposed new path will parallel road work underway for University Loop West then continue through the heart of campus before exiting on the northeast corner of campus.
“Along with working on better internal pathways, we are also establishing connection points for the city of Jonesboro to utilize our network,” Smith said.
The current PAC Paths were established in 2014 and are composed of just over eight miles of shared multi-use paths, on road bicycle lanes and shared-used marked roads across the campus.
Along with Arkansas State, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Southern Arkansas University received TAP funds for 2016. A-State was the largest single award in the northeast Arkansas region.
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