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$700,000 grant to help pay for more biking-hiking trails - KOAM TV 7

$700,000 grant to help Pittsburg pay for more biking-hiking trails

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The Kansas Department of Transportation is providing the City of Pittsburg $700,000 towards the construction of a new hiking and biking trail.

It's called the East and West connector and in January Pittsburg's city commission approved a plan to apply for the grant.

"The total project submitted was around $1 million give or take," says Troy Graham, Assistant Director of Public Works.

The grant is part of the Kansas Department of Transportation Enhancement Project - $15 million available to cities across the state.

"They wanted to make sure it did something, that it connected citizen to downtown, connected schools and housing to schools," says Graham.

Last week the city got the call they have been waiting on.  The grant will provide $700,000 to pay for the first two phases of the project.

"Very exciting stuff, and like I said, it's just a drop in the bucket - the beginning of what's going to happen in Pittsburg and Crawford County," says Kristin Thomas, the Chair of Live Well Crawford County.

The trail will connect with the Watco Trail, run across Broadway, through 12th Street, down Michigan Avenue and through Schlanger Park.

The city believes the trails will help residents stay fit and they expect area businesses to see benefits as well.

"We also like to connect north and south, we got a lot of shopping and a lot of centers and places in that area," says Graham.

"You can see the trail that starts here from Broadway and goes west and so this is just an example of what can and what is going to happen from here on to the east," says Thomas.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project will be complete in 2014.  The city says they will apply for another grant to fund more of the project.

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