Roanoke Valley projects want piece of $28 million grant - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke Valley projects want piece of $28 million grant

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What would you do with $28-million over six years?

The transportation technical committee has make the recommendation to the Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on what to do with the new federal funding. The Roanoke Valley area population has now topped 200,000 - qualifying the region for the extra funding.

Fifteen possible projects - from across the Roanoke Valley are up for discussion including a $12-million project to finish the greenway from Salem to Vinton.

"It's become really important for economic development, because it helps attract the creative class to come here as employees or businesses" said Liz Belcher, the Roanoke Valley Greenway coordinator who says without large chunks of money it could take decades to finish the seven remaining miles for a total of 21 miles of greenway.

"We've been nickeling and diming for a long time.  We've done a lot of trail construction in this valley with volunteers, and a lot of grants, and gotten a lot of little money, but to actually get a big chunk of money, to where the localities could say 'Wow, now we can move'," said Belcher.

Roanoke is also asking for money to update 45 traffic signals in downtown.

"Obviously a lot of things have changed in downtown Roanoke since then.  We've changed from one-way traffic to 2-way traffic, a lot of residential development and businesses, so the character and nature of type of traffic has changed as well," said Mark Jamison, the Roanoke transportation manager who added the current system is outdated at more than a decade old.

Other projects include an updated parking lot for the bus park and ride off Interstate 81, studies for passenger rail service in downtown Roanoke and adding sidewalks and bike lanes around the area.

The 15 projects come in at $33 million so we're told most should get some kind of funding.  The final decision comes in about three weeks.

To look at the list of projects in more detail click here.

List of submitted projects, in no particular order.

 

  • Botetourt and Roanoke Counties Greenway Connectivity Study - Botetourt Co, Roanoke Co. (Consultant Study)
  • West Main Street Pedestrian Improvement Project - Roanoke County
  • Impacts of Freight Intermodal Center - Transportation and Economic Study -RVAMPO (Consultant Study)
  • Tinker Creek Greenway Corridor Planning Study - City of Roanoke (Consultant Study)
  • Downtown Roanoke Multimodal Transportation Study -City of Roanoke, GRTC (Consultant Study)
  • Bus Replacement for Smart Way Commuter Service - 2007 Freightliner-GRTC
  • Plantation Road, Bicycle, Pedestrian and Streetscape Improvement Project-County of Roanoke
  • Downtown Roanoke Signal Coordination - (Study + Signal Replacement)-City of Roanoke
  • Exit 140 Park and Ride Reconstruction-County of Roanoke
  • Street Resurfacing - City of Roanoke
  • Walnut Avenue Phases I & II + Tinker Creek Bridge - Town of Vinton (3 projects)
  • Route 24 (Dale Avenue) Bridge over Tinker Creek Reconstruction - City of Roanoke
  • Finish Roanoke River Greenway from Green Hill Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway - Multiple Localities