By Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress
PONTOTOC – Tanglefoot Trail has the last shot in the arm it needs to make the project come to a reality thanks to a $4.5 million grant.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation recently approved to commit the last funding the trails committee needs.
“We got a $5.4 million grant to purchase the property and to construct the trail [in 2008],” said Randy Kelley, director of Three Rivers Planning and Development, in a recent session with the Pontotoc City Board of Aldermen.
Kelley said the organization was some $4 million short of what was needed to construct the trail. So, he applied for a grant application from the state to make up for the shortfall.
The three counties of Union, Pontotoc and Chickasaw as well as the cities of New Albany, Ecru, Pontotoc, Algoma, Houlka and Houston agreed to commit funding for the project.
Butch Brown, MDOT executive director, said the funding is through the Transportation Enhancement Program. MDOT will enter into an agreement with The GM&O Rails to Trails Recreational District to overseeing the utilization of these funds.
The multipurpose public trail will be for the use of pedestrians and cyclists which will run along the 43.2-mile abandoned railway through the three counties. The trail will be constructed of asphalt, two inches deep and 10 feet wide, with a 3-foot shoulder on either side with parallel ditches and cross drainage structures. Reinforcement, consisting of asphalt or concrete, along with railing, will be added to aobut 30 bridges which average 120 feet in length. Half of this trail is located in Pontotoc County.
A construction timeline is not yet known.