Janesville64.5°

Grant won’t go to tunnel

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Ann Fiore
October 23, 2007
— A $20,000 state grant wonít build a tunnel under East Milwaukee Street for Janesvilleís bike trail.

But the Safe Routes to School planning grant will fund a task force, which will develop a plan to make it easier for children to walk or bike to school.


The city council unanimously approved a resolution accepting the planning grant Monday from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.


In March, the council voted to seek a $200,000 Safe Routes to School infrastructure grant to help pay for the tunnel. The city hasnít heard yet if it will get that grant, said Public Works Director Jack Messer.


The existing trail crossing at East Milwaukee Street features yellow lights that flash when trail users push a button. But motorists sometimes ignore the lights, and the crossing has been the site of near accidents.


The city first considered an underpass in 2005. In 2006, the city borrowed $160,000, but drainage problems and the need to relocate a 24-inch water pipe put the project on hold.


A consultant estimated the project cost at $395,000, which didnít include $40,000 to $50,000 to move the water line.


In a memo to the city council, associate city planner Alexis Kuklenski said a plan could be finished by July 1. The school district, parent-teacher groups and the police department likely would be involved.


The plan is needed if the city wants to get future grant projects done, Messer said.



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