Kenai City Council approved a resolution supporting the local group BIK&S in the grant process to continue the Unity Trail from Beaver Loop to the Kenai Spur Highway via Bridge Access Road.
BIK&S, a local biking group, is working with the Department of Transportation to receive a grant that would connect the western end of the Beaver Loop pathway to the existing bike path along the Kenai Spur Highway, by following Bridge Access Road.
According to comments from Ben Boettger, who is working with BIK&S on the grant application, the Alaska Department of Transportation grant would fund 90.97 percent of the project through the federal governments Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The grant requires a 9.03 percent match from a local partner, a role Boettger hopes Kenai will fill.
“Constructing this pathway along Bridge Access Road extending from the intersection of Bridge Access Road with Beaver Loop Road to the intersection of Bridge Access Road with the Kenai Spur Highway combined with the existing Unity Trail along the Kenai Spur Highway and the planned pedestrian path with the forthcoming Beaver Loop Road Project construction would create an important connecting loop along main transportation corridors in the area,” said City Manger Paul Ostrander in city documents. “It would improve safety, health, and quality of life, and would become a regional amenity.”
The approved resolution doesn’t promise any funding, but allows the group to move forward with the application process with the full support of Kenai City Council.
After the council’s approval, Boettger laid out the next steps, which include finishing the grant application due Jan. 31 and working with Kenai to solidify a cost estimate.
“We’re seeking letters from supportive groups in the community that we can include with the grant application to show the state how this path will benefit Kenai and the peninsula,” Boettger said. “I’m excited, but I’ll be more excited when I get to ride on it.”
Reach Kat Sorensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• By KAT SORENSEN, Peninsula Clarion