Posted: Sep 3, 2013 9:04 PM by MTN News
MISSOULA - It will now be possible to peddle or walk from Missoula to Hamilton thanks to a $4.5 million dollar federal grant.
The Missoula to Lolo trail will connect the Bitterroot Branch Trail to provide a 50 mile contiguous path from downtown Missoula to Hamilton.
The total cost of the project will be $5,480,000 with the majority of the funds being awarded through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery discretionary grant program.
Remaining funds for the project are provided by the City of Missoula, Missoula County, and the Montana Department of Transportation.
"This trail project will improve safety, provide a better gateway to recreational trails, and is a lasting investment that will add value to living and doing business in Missoula," Tester said. "Projects like this attract bicyclists and tourists from around the world to Montana."
"We're thrilled that creating this important link between Missoula and Hamilton will provide a safer route for commuters of all ages and recreationists," said County Commissioner Jean Curtiss. "This connection is such a wonderful investment in our community."
"The folks who worked on this grant application made a compelling case for a long-standing dream to become a concrete reality," said Mayor John Engen. "Thanks to them, Jackie Corday in particular, and thanks to our federal delegation for their support, too. I'm looking forward to walking to Lolo one day."
Several local organizations offered significant assistance in developing the grant application. The engineering firm DJ&A, P.C. prepared the application with Adventure Cycling, the Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula (BWAM), and City and County staff all contributing time and expertise to the process.