Saturday, September 30, 2023

City awarded $1M to build trail along Monticello

City Council and staff believe the stretch of Monticello Avenue between Treyburn Drive and Ironbound Road is unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. (Courtesy of City of Williamsburg)
The trail will run along a stretch of Monticello Avenue, between Treyburn Drive and Ironbound Road, that city officials believe is unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. (Courtesy of City of Williamsburg)

The City of Williamsburg announced Tuesday it has been awarded a $1 million grant for the construction of a multi-use trail along Monticello Avenue, which will connect the city’s downtown and midtown areas to New Town in James City County.

According to a press release from the city, the $1 million grant was approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board as part of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), a Federal Highway Administration fund geared toward improving pedestrian and bicycle facilities — and lessening the negative impacts of the highway system.

The Monticello trail project has been years in the making and was listed as one of City Council’s 2014-2016 biennial goals.

“This to me is one of the most important pedestrian access improvements we will have made in a long time,” Mayor Paul Freiling, then the city’s vice mayor, said during a City Council meeting to discuss the project in 2014. “If you think it’s scary driving down it, imagine being the pedestrian.”

In October, City Council voted unanimously to apply for the TAP grant. The College of William and Mary and the W&M Student Assembly provided letters of support.

According to the city’s release, the project is expected to cost $1.25 million, with 80 percent paid for by the TAP grant and the remaining 20 percent to be shared between the city and college.

The trail is expected to have an approximate width of 10 feet, the release stated, and will be separated from the road and paved with asphalt. Streetlights will be installed along Monticello Avenue to provide lighting for the trail.

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