North Platte Trails Network hopes grant covers 80% of proposed link

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - North Platte Trails Network wants to connect two trails on the southwest side of the city. The section is about a 1/2 mile long on West State Farm Road between Buffalo Bill Road and the Indian Hills Subdivision.

The group applied for a grant through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Recreation Trails Program. It would pay for 80% of the $204,603 project costs. One person was killed here in the last 10 years.

Board Member, Samantha Geisler, says its a dangerous stretch of road and a paved connection makes it safer for people on their fitness and wellness journey.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and administered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. This fund is made possible by a portion of the Federal motor fuel excise tax paid by users of off-road recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles and off-road light trucks. This fund is specifically for land acquisition for motorized or non-motorized trails, motorized or non-motorized trail development, trail-related support facilities and maintenance of both motorized and non-motorized trails.

The proposed trail will begin at the northeast corner of the Buffalo Bill Road trail, which was constructed by the City of North Platte in 2011, and West State Farm Road intersection, with an approximate separation of eight feet between the roadway and the trail edge.

The North Platte Trails Network has conducted two meetings with the neighborhood over the last year and a half, working with residents in the area to determine the safest route to connect the nearby trails. Because of the fatality of a cyclist on West State Farm Road, the support of the nearby homeowners has been great! Total cost of this project is estimated at $204,603.

The North Platte Trails Network has already raised their 20% with contributions from Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, Great Plains Health, Twin Platte Natural Resources District, Union Pacific Railroad, Wal-Mart, Grape & Sizzle, and the support of many Lincoln County Residents.

Overall, the proposed trail connection will provide an invaluable benefit to the community by promoting safety, healthy living, socialization, cohesiveness, and community satisfaction. The recipients of the Game and Parks Recreation Trails Program grant will be announced in January 2020. If the North Platte Trails Network is selected, the anticipated start date for design and construction will be summer of 2020, with completion by fall 2020.