Mattapoisett seeks federal grant for bike path

Oct 10, 2018

MATTAPOISETT — The grant award notification date is coming up for a $8.5 million proposal the town submitted to the Federal Department of Transportation to reconstruct Industrial Drive and build a separated bike/pedestrian path. 

In July, Mattapoisett submitted a proposal to build a path that extends from the North Street Park and Ride to the Marion line. 

“It will facilitate industrial and commercial development, improve public safety, and increase connectivity for bikers and walkers across the region,” said Town Administrator Michael Gagne. 

The grant, called BUILD, is administered by the Federal Highways Administration. It is a funding opportunity for transportation projects and around $450 million is reserved for projects in rural American communities. Industrial Drive and the half mile to Marion are classified as rural areas.

According to town officials, the project would have a substantial economic impact in the industrial district.   

If awarded, the project would include paving the existing gravel water service road to the east of Industrial Drive to the Marion town line where it would meet Marion’s bike pathway. 

The grant application included concurrently developing the bike path and the Industrial Drive rehabilitation. According to the town, doing so would improve public safety, recreational and tourist amenities and economic activity in one complete project.

Gagne explained, “A key part of the grant requirements is being ‘shovel ready.’”

Federal funds will only be freed up if all permits are completed by fall of 2020. A team of volunteers, consultants and town staff are working to ensure that all the eligibility requirements will be met. 

The town will be notified on Dec. 18 if they are awarded the grant.