Sunday, May 26, 2024

Granbury hopeful for grant to improve transportation, recreation


In December of 2022, the City of Granbury adopted the Active Transportation and Recreation Plan.

The plan would serve as the city’s first plan that addresses both mobility and recreational needs through active transportation infrastructure. The plan would help as a guide for the future when it comes to implanting multi-use trails, on-street bikeways and sidewalks.

The city has applied for a grant from TxDot for funding of the plan, and if awarded the commission date would be Oct. 2023. The project estimate is $4,189,111, with the city being responsible for paying 20 percent of that, making the award total $3,351,289 dollars.

When TxDOT is determining who to grant the award to, they base it off a scoring system. They assess the needs of funding, see if the city has done their research and studies, as well as look at how the plan would impact the community.

“We’re in competition with lots of other cities for these funds, and at this time we just wait and see what TxDOT decides and if we are awarded these funds,” Aaron Mclain Internal Services Director of the City of Granbury said.

The city has partnered with an outside consultant, Halff Associates for their expertise on the grant application as well as the future of the engineering, construction and architecture of further transportation and recreation plans.

“You are highly more likely of getting these projects funded for your residence and completed residence if you hire people that have that expertise,” Jeff Newpher Communications Manager of the City of Granbury said.

The benefits of the plan outlined economic drivers, safety and health. The economic drivers provide economic opportunities for the city, homeowners and business owners. Safety improvements such as widening trails and sidewalks, increased signage and wayfinding tools are outlined. There is also a betterment of health by having access to healthy lifestyle choices and exercise areas with the trails and bike paths.

The plan has five phases outlined. Phase one focuses on collecting data and inventory, phase two focuses on community engagement, phase three focuses on assessing the needs, phase four will look at the development of recommendations, and phase five will be implementation of action.

In 2020 the City of Granbury updated the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master plan to improve projects, funding opportunities and recommendations for expansions and improvements to serve the community.

“We saw that we needed more information on trail systems, we needed updating on existing systems, enhancing of existing systems, and looking at new routes for the future,” Mclain said.

 Since that adoption, the city has created a new park loop trail as well as trail amenities including educational signage, nature themed play elements and benches located in Lambert Branch Park.

“Many requirements have to be fulfilled, so it can be 12 months after it’s awarded before you ever start any shovel in the dirt work,” Mclain said. Looking to the future, residents of Granbury can expect to see changes if awarded the grant within the next couple of years.