The West Virginia Department of Transportation recently issued $9.7 million worth of Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grants to fund 38 projects in 22 counties across the state.
[Above photo by WVDOT]
“We’ve learned that investing in our cities, towns, and beautiful parks is one of the best ways to attract tourists and improve the daily lives of our residents,” explained Governor Jim Justice (R) in a statement.
“This program provides millions of dollars to make some of the best places in West Virginia more accessible, which will also enhance visitation throughout the state,” he added. “The positive economic ripple effects will be off the charts, and I couldn’t be prouder to approve these well-deserved initiatives.”
Administered by WVDOT, grants via the West Virginia Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program – which receives funding from the Federal Highway Administration – helps towns and cities build and improve sidewalks, lighting, walking paths, rail trails, and more.
According to the FHWA, its Recreational Trails Program or RTP provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
The agency said that federal transportation funding seeks to boost “recreational activity” such as hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021, reauthorized RTP funding from federal fiscal year 2022 through 2026 as a set-aside from the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside under the Surface Transportation Block Grant, with the amount set aside equal to the state’s FY 2009 RTP apportionment.