TUPELO – Pedestrians will get sidewalks along portions of North Green and North Gloster streets, and a section of Eason Boulevard will be improved, if the city wins a $1 million grant this fall.
Tupelo submitted an application this week to the Mississippi Department of Transportation requesting $1,014,000 in Surface Transportation Program money. About 40 cities statewide were invited to compete for the federal dollars, and winners will be announced as early as mid-October.
If selected, Tupelo will provide $313,000 in matching money, said City Planner Pat Falkner, who collaborated on the application with input from Mayor Jack Reed Jr.
The money would fund sidewalks along North Green from the Tupelo Housing Authority dwellings to its intersection with North Gloster. Sidewalks also would extend from that intersection on Gloster north to Commonwealth Boulevard, near Best Buy.
People often walk those busy corridors, wearing deep ruts into the grass alongside the streets to avoid traffic.
“We wanted to do something to advance the program of improving walkability,” Falkner said, referencing the city’s recent efforts to boost non-vehicular travel.
Sidewalks would consume about half the funds. Widening and paving Eason would take the other. Falkner said the city needs to add about two feet to each side of the thoroughfare before overlaying it. It will not add an additional lane.
The Eason project extends from Briar Ridge Road to East Main Street.
The City Council approved the application Tuesday in a special called meeting. It now goes to MDOT, which has $7.5 million to distribute. It’s unclear how many other cities have applied.
Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal