The City of Mexico has been awarded a Missouri Department of Transportation enhancement grant for safety improvements on Morris Street.
City officials applied for the grant in November and received confirmation this month. The grant is valued at $149,300 and will be used to connect the sidewalks on the south side of Morris Street.
The enhancement grant includes a variety of safety improvement projects, such as sidewalk construction, curbing, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, landscaping, other scenic beautification and more.
Work on the Morris Street sidewalk project could began as soon as late summer or in early 2014. The route will include sidewalk construction on Morris from Liberty to Monroe.
"This is a fairly complex project because we have to deal with three railroads and five railroad tracks – which is partly why we put the project into the grant application," Public Works Director/City Engineer Kensey Russell said.
The city's next steps, Russell said, will be to enter into a formal agreement with MoDOT, advertise for engineer assistance, and signing a contract that will subsequently lead to the construction.
The city has used enhancement grants previously with the construction of the Lakeview Park Trail.
"Communities like Mexico have to concentrate on the basics due to our size. Enhancement grants help us move a step beyond the basics toward better safety and quality of life," Russell said.
Congress created the Transportation Enhancement Program in 1991. The program required each state to reserve 10 percent of its Federal Surface Transportation Program funds annually for designated Transportation Enhancement activities to ensure transportation spending supports more than just roads.
Transportation Enhancement funds are available to develop a variety of project types that are located in both rural and urban communities. The projects help create more travel choices by providing funding to construct sidewalks, bike lanes and to convert abandoned railroad rights of way to trails. Communities may also use the Transportation Enhancement Program to revitalize local regional economies by restoring historic buildings, renovating streetscapes or providing transportation museums and visitor centers.