Weatherford is being considered for a Texas Department of Transportation grant to connect the existing Town Creek Trail to the Hickory Bend neighborhood and to Simmons Meadows neighborhood.
If this happens, the trail could serve as a “student safe route” to Ikard Elementary School, according to city council documents.
“These connections will then provide students a dedicated hard-surface walking trail that is separate from roadways that are used by motorized vehicles,” Director of Capital Transportation Projects Terry Hughes said.
Weatherford is requesting $269,975 for the project and applied after TxDOT issued the call for projects in February. After initial review, the city was invited to make a more detailed application.
“The Texas Department of Transportation received 253 applications for funding totaling over $271 million,” Hughes said. “There is $46 million available in federal funds available through the TA/SRTS program with $8.7 million allocated for the safe routes program.”
The program is expected to fund 100 percent of selected projects that meet criteria while the city would commit to long-term maintenance and cost overruns, according to council documents.
The evaluation process for projects is expected to end in February 2020 with a conditional project list, Hughes said. If funded, the project would take a year to construct.
Weatherford ISD Executive Director of Organizational Culture Charlotte LaGrone said the district is aware of the city’s grant application and any comment from the district would be speculative.
“However, the addition of this trail could provide access for some students to walk or bike to and from Ikard Elementary,” LaGrone said.