PRESS RELEASE, March 13, 2018
Many of you have asked “What is happening with the Greenway?” Boy do we have news!
With your help, we have received nearly $2.5 million in funding to build the trail connection between Rock Point Bridge and Valley of the Rogue State Park. Two grants, with matching funds raised with our cycling events and a lot of brainstorming and man hours, now has this project on schedule for completion in 2019.
The first of these grants was a $403,000 grant from ODOT which was only enough to do preliminary engineering and permitting. Through your efforts and help, we were able to provide Jackson County with the 10% ($47,000) “match” for this design grant and we were excited to get this phase of the project going. However, this still left us needing over $2 million to actually BUILD the project. If we provided the same 10% matching funds to build the project, we would need a nest egg of over $200,000 to guarantee a construction grant. Our supporters and cyclists are awesome, but this looked rather overwhelming. This section does not include any bridges or difficult crossings but construction work is very costly. Our Jackson County liaison investigated and found that we may be able to leverage the $450,000 design project ($403,000 grant and $47,000 Greenway Foundation funds) as match against other possible grants. Several tries were made with this approach but each effort ended up with us not making the cut. Meanwhile, we kept plugging away, improving our annual cycling event Ride the Rogue, saving money and considering other potential options.
Well, here is where it gets exciting! John Vial, Jackson County Roads and Parks, spotted an opportunity where our project could qualify for a federal grant and we could match it with the design grant and he took the plunge on our behalf. Under a month later, we got it! Jackson County was awarded just under $2,000,000 to build the section of trail from Rock Point Bridge to Valley of the Rogue State Park. The first grant is still secure and is matching the second grant which has been awarded. When complete, we will have a 10-mile trail all the way from the Depot Street Bridge to the sports park along the Rogue River in Gold Hill.
So the design work of engineering, right of way negotiations, permitting and more is currently underway by Jackson County. The new trail will predominantly be within the existing Jackson County roadway right of way, but it will be a separate bikeway – not just a bike lane. Construction of the project is scheduled to go out for bid spring of 2019 and should be completed within that year!
For those interested, our meetings are generally the 3rd Monday of each month, 6:00 PM at the Rogue River Fire Hall. You can also visit our webpages www.roguerivergreenway.org and www.ridetherogue.org, plus our Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/Ride-the-Rogue-397566917467 and https://www.facebook.com/Rogue-River-Greenway-344985076273/ . Our 10th Ride the Rogue event will be September 22nd, 2018, with many special anniversary additions.
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