Gov. Beshear Formally Presents $3.9 Million for Long-Awaited Riverfront Commons Trail in Covington

Will fund nearly quarter-mile of bicycle-pedestrian path, other improvements

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today formally presented $3.9 million in federal funding to spur further development of the much-anticipated Riverfront Commons Trail in Covington.

The funding, represented with a large, ceremonial check Gov. Beshear presented to Covington Mayor Sherry Carran will pay for nearly a quarter-mile of the multi-use path that when completed will stretch more than 11 miles and unite communities along the Ohio River, from Ludlow to Fort Thomas.

Funding is from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, which was created for projects that improve traffic safety and air quality.

“Riverfront Commons Trail is going to be a tremendous asset that unites our Northern Kentucky river communities and holds tangible benefits for the health, safety and quality of life for all who live, work and visit here,” Gov. Beshear said.

“The award from Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet of $3.9 million in CMAQ funding is a major milestone for Covington’s Riverfront Commons project,” said Covington Mayor Sherry Carran. “This grant is significant in our efforts to improve our riverfront and the connectivity with our neighboring cities in the region. This project will continue the progress the city has made toward downtown revitalization, further enhancing walkability and providing transportation alternatives. These riverfront improvements create a quality-of-life asset that unites communities whose histories have been defined by their shared space along the Ohio River.”

The CMAQ grant to Covington will fund construction of a 1,250-foot section of the “bike-ped” path along the river, envisioned as an alternative to short car trips for many who work and live in the area.

Construction also includes a bulkhead and grading; upper walk/bikeway along the base of the Covington flood levee and at the base of Greenup Street, connecting to city sidewalks. There also will be a connection under the Roebling Bridge, connection of the Madison Avenue overlook and fishing pier, and lighting.

The CMAQ grant for Covington is the centerpiece of a package of awards aimed at achieving cleaner air and less traffic congestion in northern Kentucky. Other awards:

• City of Dayton – $530,387 for construction of approximately 1 mile of bicycle and pedestrian path, including a ramp over the floodwall. Trail will run west to east from near O’Fallon Avenue to near Berry Street.

• Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) – $976,000 toward purchase of two hybrid electric/diesel transit buses.

• City of Silver Grove – $250,000 under the federal Safe Routes to School program, for construction and repair of sidewalks along Four Mile Road, from Third Street to Mary Ingles Highway, and construction of sidewalks and a trail near Providence Trace Drive. These improvements will most directly benefit the 215 students of Silver Grove School, a pre-school through grade 12 facility.

“This step toward a healthier Kentucky has a direct link to our economic future because better health, especially for our workforce, has tangible positive impacts – fewer sick days, more production and a higher quality of life for our citizens,” said Gov. Beshear.

Federal CMAQ funds are for innovative transportation projects or programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. As such, the program complements kyhealthnow, Gov. Beshear’s aggressive and wide-ranging initiative to improve Kentucky’s dismal health rankings and habits.

“To have a healthy Commonwealth, we must have clean air and this funding helps us in working toward that goal by making walking and biking a practical alternative to short car trips,” Gov. Beshear said. “That in turn means less motor traffic, reduced emissions, cleaner air and better health.”

CMAQ projects support Gov. Beshear’s efforts to improve the health of all Kentuckians. The Governor launched kyhealthnow to build on Kentucky’s successful implementation of health care reform and uses multiple strategies over the next several years to improve the state’s collective health, like reducing the rates of obesity and cardiovascular deaths.

Today’s announcement is part of Gov. Beshear’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the quality of life in northern Kentucky. Over the last 8 years, Gov. Beshear has invested nearly $650 million in transportation projects in just Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.

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