Monday, October 26, 2020
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Smithville Sidewalk Improvements Possible

Smithville is looking to improve pedestrian walkways for two Highway 70 intersections within the city.

Center Hill RPO Coordinator Virginia Alexander said the city is making sure its budget is flexible before applying for a T-DOT grant to fund most of the project.

“It is going to be the hardest part just because construction costs vary so much,” Alexander said. “So, we are going to be putting in to do both intersections. There is potential that the state might not fund the full project. They may just do one intersection. That is something we are preparing for.”

Alexander said the application is focusing on economic development and improving safety. Smithville has until November 6th to submit the Multimodal Access Grant application.

“That is the main highway that goes through Smithville’s commercial district,” Alexander said. “We are making sure to mention that the walkability there is not exactly safe when you’re crossing the intersection. Working on connecting that area, especially the Highway 70 state route 56, because it connects up to the community center, and they have a lot of activities going on there regularly.”

The intersection of Highway 70 and state route 146 is the second intersection needing improvements. Alexander said crosswalks and bus shelters are part of the upgrades.

Multimodal Access Grant projects are state-funded at 95 percent with a 5 percent local match. State match amount will not exceed $950,000. Smithville submitted a letter of intent to apply for the grant last summer.

Sparta is also applying for the same grant.

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