HARRISONBURG — Harrisonburg and Bridgewater will receive roughly $940,000 in state funding for several street and path improvement projects.
On Wednesday, the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission announced that the district received more than $2.5 million from the Virginia Department of Transportation for 11 alternative transportation and Safe Routes to School projects for fiscal 2019.
Harrisonburg will receive about $685,000 for three projects, and Bridgewater will receive about about $255,000 for one. VDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program covers 80 percent of costs, while localities contribute the remaining 20 percent.
The localities applied for the funding last fall.
Bonnie Riedesel, executive director of the commission, said Harrisonburg will receive more than $373,000 to design and construct a shared-use path on Federal Street from East Market Street to East Elizabeth Street.
The project would transform Federal Street from a two-way to a one-way street with a shared-use path on the west side and a sidewalk along the east side, Riedesel said. Tom Hartman, the city’s assistant director of public works, wrote in an email that the construction schedule for the project will be set after its design is completed.
Harrisonburg also received about $212,000 to complete improvements to the downtown streetscape. The project includes decorative sidewalks along North Main Street between Elizabeth and Wolfe streets, as well as “upgrades the traffic signals to the decorative style,” Hartman wrote.
The city plans to begin construction next year.
Harrisonburg also will receive another $100,000 for enhancements to Park Road through Eastern Mennonite University’s campus. The improvements are designed to make the area safer and more attractive for pedestrians by widening two “decorative stamped asphalt crosswalks,” Hartman wrote.
The city will upgrade two other crosswalks to the decorative style and build a new crosswalk, all complete with curb ramps and crosswalk signs with reflective panels, Hartman wrote.
The project must be designed before staff complete its construction schedule, he said.
In Bridgewater, the town will receive $255,000 for the Gen-Oak connector to build sidewalks and bicycle lanes along North Liberty Street and Mount Crawford Avenue between Generations and Oakdale parks.
The sidewalks will run along the west side of Liberty and the north side of Mount Crawford Avenue, connecting with another section of sidewalks. The sidewalks will run along Mount Crawford until the intersection with Naomi Lane and through a field into Oakdale Park.
The project also calls for crosswalks to be installed at Liberty Street and Naomi Lane.
Riedesel said more and more people are using bicycles to commute to work, and more residents want to be able to walk around their communities.
“These are the kind of projects that enhance a community’s quality of life,” she said, “and makes these areas more attractive for visitors and safer for residents as well.”