Talley Trail project to get KDOT funding





An extension of Talley Trail east from near Campus Drive is included in a list of 35 Kansas Department of Transportation projects from across the state for funding through the Transportation Enhancement program.

The project, which will likely be a 2014 venture, runs along the northern side of Kansas Highway 156 from near the Kwik Shop east to near Walmart.

Steve Cottrell, city engineer, said the new extension will add to Talley Trail, the city's 3.5-mile, paved walking and bike path that winds through the city.

"It will provide a safe route for folks who walk out toward Walmart. It gets them across the ramp and signals with some pedestrian crossing indications," he said.

Estimated project cost is $831,000. It will be funded jointly by KDOT and the city with the state picking up 80 percent of the cost and the city providing 20 percent. Cottrell said it could be about a year before the project begins, allowing time to complete, review and approve plans and to secure the city's funding match.

"It's a design process. Basically, you go through the same steps as we would for a highway," he said.

The path will be 10 feet wide, paved with mostly four-inch thick concrete, although some areas may need to be thicker. Cottrell said the project will also include landscaping along the way. By the Hampton Inn and IHOP, the city will remove a barbed wire fence and replace it with a more attractive split rail type of fence.

Federal funds through KDOT provide the city with an opportunity to improve and extend its trails system, as called for in the city's comprehensive plan.

"Long range, we'd like to be able to take the path out to the Mary Street/K-156/Jennie Barker intersection, then bring it along Mary Street back towards the city to the west," Cottrell said. "We'd also go south down Jennie Barker and eventually tie a pretty good trail system in. But those are still long-range goals."

Only two other projects in southwest Kansas were included in KDOT's transportation enhancement program — a path extension and AT&SF Depot repair, both in Dodge City. Overall, the 35 projects are estimated to cost $17.9 million. KDOT received 91 applications requesting more than $63 million.

Transportation Enhancement is a federally-funded program that provides funding for facilities for pedestrians and bicycles; pedestrian and bicycle safety and education activities; acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites; scenic or historical highway programs; landscaping and scenic beautification; historic preservation; rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures or facilities; conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails; control or removal of outdoor advertising; archaeological planning and research; and establishment of transportation museums.

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