The City of Ottawa staff were recently notified that the City of Ottawa has been approved for a Transportation Alternatives (TA) Grant for sidewalks and trail improvements on a portion of the K-68 corridor. The grant is through the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration. “We are always excited to be awarded federal and state funds to return to the community in support of our goals for improved bicycle and pedestrian connectivity,” said City Manager Richard U. Nienstedt.

The project will provide six-foot sidewalks on the north side of K-68 from N. Oak Street to N. Locust Street and on the south side of K-68, the sidewalk will extend from N. Oak Street to N. Main Street. There will also be a sidewalk to the south from Main and K-68 to the Main and Tecumseh St. intersection, and from the Old Depot Museum north across K-68. This will tie pedestrian traffic from the north side of Ottawa to the south side. It will also provide safe pedestrian travel along K-68 to Forest Park. The Prairie Spirit Trail will be extended from the Trailhead at the Old Depot Museum north to K-68 where a number of people walk or bike now, but on the grass area. Lastly, signage along K-68 reminding motorists to share the road with cyclists will also be installed and improvements to the median area including landscaping.

“Our local citizens have envisioned this project which greatly improved connectivity to parks and major roads for bicycling, walking, and running, along with improved accessibility, so I am thrilled that the project was selected”, said Wynndee Lee, Community Development Director.

TA activities are federally-funded, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation. For example, projects can include creation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, streetscape improvements, refurbishment of historic transportation facilities, and other investments that enhance communities and access. Funding is provided as a reimbursement program and the applicant is responsible for 20 percent of eligible costs. The project total cost of construction is $439,312 and the City of Ottawa will contribute $87,862.

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