4 for 24 Is Just a Start. . .
When is the Singing River Trail going to start being, as in on the ground, and not just being talked about, as in planning and design?
and we have a great answer . . . now.
The Alabama Department of Transportation’s (ALDOT) Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) has awarded the towns of Bridgeport, Gurley, Huntsville, and Leighton with funding to begin constructing sections of the Singing River Trail in Jackson, Madison, and Colbert Counties. ALDOT TAP Grants require an 80/20 match and must follow state regulations for design, engineering, and construction. These grants allow towns, cities, and counties to invest in themselves by building sections of SRT one piece at a time. Or in short, SRT will be breaking ground on four TAP grants in 2024 hence “4 for 24.”
For Bridgeport, it’s connecting sections of downtown to new recreation areas. In Gurley, it’s redeveloping Walker Street and connecting the town park, Town Hall, the public library, medical offices, commercial stores, housing, and the post office. In Huntsville, it’s a new section of trail to the east of the Huntsville Airport that will eventually connect to Triana and the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. And in Leighton, it’s redeveloping a historic downtown to attract more business opportunities and a growing food and beverage sector with SRT.
But we aren’t banking on TAP grants alone.
The easy thing is to call all of this SRT’s “4 for 24” campaign but that would be doing us and our partners a disservice. There’s so much more happening than just these four TAP grant projects. This alliteration is fun but it doesn’t take into account that we’ll be placing signage on over fifty miles of existing trails, or that the City of Madison has built out significant sections of SRT, or that the City of Decatur partnered with SRT to apply for a $18.4 million federal grant (still waiting on a decision with crossed fingers), or that an approved $1.6 million RAISE grant will help with SRT planning in Courtland, or that South Pittsburg, Tennessee, wants to be part of the fun, or that . . . well you get the idea.
So for now, we will just call it “4 for 24” but our goal is to have our “5 for 25” plans completed by the time the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye on the 4th of July.
All planning and no construction makes for a dull project so consider us on notice and let’s get to work, North Alabama!