City of McAllen receives over $1 million grant for hike and bike trail

City of McAllen receives over $1 million grant for hike and bike trail

POSTED: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 2:47pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 2:49pm

The Texas Transportation Commission approved a $1,020,265 grant for the City of McAllen’s Bentsen Road Hike and Bike Trail. Under the Texas Department of Transportation’s 2012 Transportation Enhancement Program, the grant will provide for the construction of a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle trail with amenities and landscaping, connecting residential neighborhoods, parks, schools and other points of interest along Bentsen Road from Pecan Boulevard (FM 495) to Nolana Avenue.

The federally-funded award will be leveraged with a local match of $255,066 for a total project cost of $1,275,331.

“The Bentsen Road Hike and Bike Trail will improve mobility and expand safe, scenic and opportune alternative transportation routes for City residents, workforce members and visitors,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.

“This continuous 1.6-mile-long trail will complement the City’s 17 miles of existing hike and bike trails, improving the cohesion of the community and character of the project’s neighborhoods, as well as expanding physical fitness opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Public support has driven different phases of Bentsen Road enhancements. A public meeting was held on April 24, 2012, at the McAllen Public Library with over 50 people in the target area in attendance to discuss future plans for the corridor, including the proposed trail. Phase 1, a $8.5 million irrigation project, is complete, as is Phase 2, a $3.5 million drainage project. Phase 3, a $5 million paving project is in process. The final phase of the corridor’s enhancement is the hike and bike trail. The Bentsen Road Hike and Bike Trail is included in the City’s Bike Plan, adopted Sept. 10, 2012.

Project amenities will include bicycle racks, drinking fountains for people and pets, way-finding signage, benches, shade shelters, trees and area lighting for increased safety and visibility.

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