Monday, 10 29, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today joined local leaders to announce a $66,868 Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant for a new extended portion to the Brighton Rail Trail in Lexington.
“Recreational trails benefit our Kentucky communities in many ways – they help increase property values, aid in land conservation, and spur neighborhood and economic growth,” said Mrs. Beshear. “This project is another outstanding model for trail development in our state and will provide Lexington residents with a quality area to live healthy, active lifestyles.”
The RTP grant will fund the construction of 2,600 feet of new asphalt trail that will connect to an already existing one-mile portion of the Liberty Park Trail, and will eventually connect to the Brighton East Rail Trail. The new trail will be 10 feet in width and will help narrow the gap between two trails that connect three city parks. Once completed, the entire project will result in 3.8 miles of continuous trail for walkers, skaters and cyclists to utilize.
“This recreational facility is yet another piece in the puzzle aimed at improving the quality of life for our residents and I am proud that I was able to assist in getting funding to move the project forward,” said Sen. Kathy Stein. “I appreciate the First Lady’s interest and leadership in the promotion of recreational facilities throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
“As a longstanding advocate for the growth and maintenance of Kentucky’s recreational trails, I am so pleased to join our First Lady today as we recognize this Recreational Trail Program funding designated for Lexington’s own Brighton Rail Trail,” said Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo. “Both the Lexington community and other Kentuckians will have the opportunity to further enjoy their active lifestyles.”
The trail is also a part of the Big Sandy Greenway Trail, a primary trail proposed in Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s (LFUCG) adopted Greenway Master Plan.
“As Lexington’s trail system improves and expands it’s becoming very popular,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. “Our neighborhoods love trails like the Brighton rail trail … they’re convenient and offer the opportunity to get outside and exercise. Because of our new mountain bike trail and longer trails, like the Legacy Trail, we are becoming a tourist destination for cyclists. The state has been a strong partner in building our trail system, and we appreciate Governor Beshear’s support.”
“Completion of this important phase of the Brighton East Rail Lexington will keep Lexington on the right path toward a successful trail program and provide another safe, convenient recreational opportunity for citizens,” said LFUCG Councilmember Kevin Stinnett.
The RTP is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. Kentucky’s RTP grants are administered by the Department for Local Government and require that applicants match the amount of funds requested. The grants may be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements; development and/or maintenance of recreational trails; and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use.
In August, Gov. Steve Beshear pledged his support for the RTP by signing a letter to U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood reaffirming Kentucky’s commitment to utilize RTP funds.