BREC Receives Grant to Construct Trail to Connect Downtown and North Baton Rouge
BREC is excited to announce receipt of a federal grant valued at more than $3.7-million to construct a multi-use bike pedestrian trail connecting Downtown to North Baton Rouge. Phase 1 of the project will begin at Memorial Stadium Sports Complex and will end at Scotlandville Parkway, connecting people and neighborhoods along the way to recreational facilities, schools, churches, and places of business. Phase 2 will provide further connections into downtown linking to the DDD Downtown Greenway.
The multi-million dollar grant was awarded to BREC through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Grant Program administered by Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). CMAQ is focused on supporting surface transportation projects that reduce traffic congestion and lead to improvements in air quality. The grant implementation process will include an environmental review, survey/project design, plan review, competitive bidding process and, finally, construction implementation of the six-mile trail.
“I am so pleased to make this announcement today as it comes after years of planning, developing strong relationships with community and demonstrating that BREC is an agency that follows through on its promises in order to receive the largest grant of its type in our organizations’ history,” said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. “This is a real game-changer and eventually, this trail will make it possible for residents to go between Southern University and LSU on their bicycles or on foot as one section will connect to the Downtown Greenway and the other will be extended to the Southern University Campus.”
This project is a major component of the Capital Area Pathways Project (CAPP) which BREC conceived in partnership with other community organizations to develop a network of trails that will eventually connect the entire parish. Other CAPP Trail projects either in process or complete include the Farr Park trail, the Greenwood Community Park Trail, and the Health Loop – Ward’s Creek Trail from The Mall of Louisiana to The Grove, Morning Glen to Tuscany Villas, and the Perkins/Pennington trail. Several other trail projects are in the design and development phases.
The grant was submitted to DOTD through the Capital Region Planning Commission which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Baton Rouge Capital Region.
“This project provides a valuable connector from North Baton Rouge to the downtown area, and makes a safe, off-street alternative for the public. We are proud to lend our support for the improvements,” said CRPC Executive Director Jamie Setze.
BREC would like to thank Bike BR and the Downtown Development District (DDD) for assistance with mapping out the route of the future walking and bicycling trail. In fact, two members of Bike BR spent hours riding the area where the future trail will be constructed and documenting their path with pictures to help BREC map out the best route for the trail. In addition, we thank the EBR Planning Commission, DPW, and DOTD for their assistance.
The total cost of the project will be more than $4.1-million with the federal grant funding 80% of the project. BREC funding the remaining 20% at a cost of more than $800,000.
Attached is a map of the proposed trail which will be comprised of mixed use pathways, separated bike paths and sharrows as indicated by the map legend.