Published 6:13 pm Friday, June 20, 2014

Confirmation came this week that the city received funding to replace sidewalks in downtown Troy through a federal grant.

The project includes plans to improve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance of sidewalks and add beauty to downtown.

“Downtown is the heart of our community,” Planning and Zoning Administrator Melissa Sanders said. “Just like a body, you have to keep the heart healthy.”

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The City of Troy received $390,237 in funding from the federal Transportation Alternatives Program to complete the Downtown Streetscape Project, which the city has been working towards for the past year. After not receiving funds for a similar project in 2013, the city applied for the TAP grant in May.

Sanders said plans include replacing existing damaged sidewalks with new concrete ADA compliant sidewalks, installation of handrails where needed, curb and gutter placements and landscaping. The project will work on portions of Three Notch, Church, Elm, Bluff, Oak and West Walnut Streets that surround the city square.

“This is very good news for Troy,” Mayor Jason A. Reeves said. “We are dedicated to revitalizing our downtown, and this grant money will go a long way in helping us make improvements.” Troy Downtown Historic Commercial District received its historical designation by the Alabama Historical Commission in February of 2013.

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives. These include on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation; recreational trail program projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

Estimated time to start of construction is at least a year and engineering for the project must be approved through LDOT, according to Sanders. Green space and trees will be incorporated where it is possible to add shade and beauty downtown. “It will make the downtown a safer place to walk and enhance the beautification of this area,” Sanders said.

A more walk-able downtown will make for a healthier community and bring more customers.”

Sanders hopes this project is one of many to come in the future, including the city and private members of the community. “It takes our community working together to make our city great.”