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Posted on: February 23, 2021

Grant to enable SCP+R to complete connection of trail system across county

Runner on Shunga Trail cropped

TOPEKA, KAN. – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz have announced the awarding of $13.5 million for 18 projects selected for inclusion in its Transportation Alternatives (TA) program for Federal Fiscal Year 2022-23. 

Shawnee County Parks + Recreation has received a $ $696,296 grant for the Deer Creek Trail Robinson Extension. The extension will run from SE 25th Street at Dornwood Park down to SE 29th Street. Once completed, Shawnee County’s trail system will connect from SW 29th Street all the way to and around Lake Shawnee via the Shunga and Deer Creek Trails and SE 29th Street. The Deer Creek is presently being extended from SE 10th Street to SE 25th Street. The Transportation Alternatives grant does require a 20 percent local match. 

“This is truly a milestone for our community,” said Tim Laurent, director, SCP+R. “Connecting our trail system has been a priority for our department.” 

“This grant will enable us to provide an approximately 20-mile route from west to east and around Lake Shawnee. Connecting our trail system across our community is an important addition to the quality of life in Shawnee County.” 

“The projects we announced today will help our communities make the kinds of improvements that will ensure that Kansas remains the best state in the nation to work, live, and raise a family,” Governor Kelly said. “These are projects that make it safer for children to walk and bike to school, they will add sidewalks for Kansans to walk, bike or use a wheelchair, and they continue to build on our efforts to improve access to our state’s many outdoor recreational opportunities.”

The Transportation Alternatives Program funds projects focused almost entirely on planning for and building infrastructure for safe, accessible and connected pedestrian and cycling networks. Becoming a more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly state is a top priority for Governor Kelly, KDOT and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.

“One of my favorite things about being the Secretary of Transportation is getting to talk to Kansans about how transportation improvements can help support the health, education and economic goals of their communities,” Secretary Lorenz said. “With this grant, we celebrate federal, state and local resources coming together to deliver more for Kansans in all those areas.”

Funds for this program come from the Federal Highway Administration and are currently the primary source of KDOT funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects statewide, including Safe Routes to School. The program also funds surface transportation projects of a historical nature and scenic and environmental projects, including Main Street beautification projects.

Secretary Lorenz said interest in this TA grants cycle was high with 35 applications submitted from eligible project sponsors requesting over $50 million in federal funds. She said KDOT made selections based on criteria such as safety and network improvements, connectivity, cost estimates, project readiness, public support and other factors. Each project sponsor must commit to providing at least 20 percent of the cost of the project as a local cash match.  

For more information on the Transportation Alternatives Program, visit http://www.ksdot.org/bureaus/burtransplan/TransAlt.asp  or contact Jenny Kramer at  Jenny.Kramer@ks.gov or call (785) 296-5186.

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About Shawnee County Parks + Recreation

Shawnee County Parks + Recreation includes nearly 60 miles of trails, 2,625 acres of parks and 320 annual days of sporting activities. In addition, the department offers recreation programs, educational programs and golf. A combination of tax dollars, user fees and private donations enables Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to offer parks, sporting and aquatic facilities with state-of-the-art features, and beautiful, nationally recognized gardens.