Lexington’s trail system got a boost Monday with the announcement of $2.9 million in state funding for two shared-use trails.
Over $500,000 will go towards building a 12-foot-wide shared-use trail that will extend the Citation Trail. This shared-use trail completes the connection between Masterson Hills Park and the Town Branch Trail.
It’s a key connection that will allow people to access 28 miles of trails, making it easier to use the trail to walk or bike to downtown Lexington, Lexington and state officials.
“Filling this gap in the Town Branch Trail System provides a continuous network of shared-use trails spanning 28 miles from Masterson Station Park to Kentucky Horse Park via the Lexington Citation Trail, Town Branch Trail, and Legacy Trail. after decades of private and public sector investment in this direction. goal,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who made the announcement Monday during a news conference at the Lexington City Government Center.
About $2.3 million will go toward building a shared-use bike and pedestrian path on Alumni Drive from Tates Creek Road to New Circle Road — a stretch of about 2 miles.
The project will create a continuous bicycle and pedestrian path on Alumni Drive from the Squires Road trail off Man O’ War Boulevard to the existing Alumni Drive trail on the University of Kentucky campus, which extends to British Arboretum and Nicholasville Road.
Doug Burton, engineering manager for the city of Lexington, said it will likely take three years before construction of the Alumni Drive shared-use road begins. This project is still in the design phase, but the city has already reserved a right of way for this project.
Design work has already been completed on the Citation Trail. Construction of this section of the shared-use trail will begin over the next 18 months to two years.
Burton said as the city’s shared-use trails become easier to use and safer, more people will hopefully opt to bike or walk rather than drive.
“People don’t make a mode switch from cars to another mode of transportation until they have the facilities to do it,” Burton said.
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said Lexington’s trail system allows for greater connectivity and better health outcomes for residents. The city has spent decades creating trail networks throughout Lexington, she said.
“The Citation Trail and Alumni Drive shared-use trails will promote connectivity and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists,” Gorton said.
The $2.9 million comes from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Transportation Alternatives program. The city has already received money from the TAP program for other trail projects.