On the front page of today’s Valley Virginia section in the DN-R! The City has received $600,000 in matching revenue funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation for the Northend Greenway, meaning that there is now $1.2 million available for the project. Good to see the wonderful VDOT news available to the larger Harrisonburg community. And yes, we are still incredibly excited about the news, even one day afterwards.
HARRISONBURG — In an expected but nonetheless exciting move for supporters, the state is officially sending $600,000 to the Northend Greenway.The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the move of Virginia Department of Transportation-managed funding Wednesday, according to VDOT officials. The funding is a tiny chunk of the $17.6 billion six-year transportation spending plan the board approved this week.The Northend Greenway is a proposed 2.5-mile multiuse path that would connect the Park View area of the city near Eastern Mennonite University with downtown Harrisonburg. Local nonprofit New Community Project, which has a 20-member advisory board and an army of supporters, is pushing the venture.The state’s contribution brings the funding total to $1.2 million when added to the $600,000 Harrisonburg City Council awarded the project in October.
The city’s money couldn’t be released until the state awarded the matching funds, according to greenway organizers. Come July 1, all the funds should be available.
The money will go toward engineering work and “a good portion of the actual construction” of a 1.6-mile section of the greenway from the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community area on the city’s northern end to near the Little Grill Collective on North Main Street, according to Tom Benevento of New Community Project.
“We’re very excited about having that money available,” Benevento said. “It’s really going to help us … get the whole path on the ground and … make this project a reality that will benefit families and children and everybody in Harrisonburg for many, many years to come.”
By late 2014, city planners and greenway advocates hope to break ground. If that occurs, the Northend Greenway could be ready for use as early as 2015.
City staff will present a timeline and budget for the project’s proposed alignment at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.