Dripping Springs awarded TxDOT grant for sidewalk improvements

The city of Dripping Springs was awarded two grants totaling more than $2.8 million from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to improve pedestrian safety via the construction of two sidewalk projects.

The grants were awarded through TxDOT’s Transportation Alternative Set-Aside Program (TA), a program that provides funding to construct various alternative transportation projects that improve safety and mobility for non-motorized travelers and assist with reducing traffic congestion.

Both grants are matching grants, and the federal funds must be matched by a minimum of 20 percent from the city. While no decision was made to accept the grants at the Feb. 18 city council meeting, members were positive regarding the grants.

Mayor Todd Purcell echoed the sentiments of all the council members, “This is wonderful news for the city, and we are grateful to TxDOT. These generous grants will help improve the safety and quality of life for the residents of Dripping Springs. We just need to do a little due diligence before we can move forward.”

Because the grants would require some matching funds, the city council gave the go-ahead to reach out and work with TxDOT to see if the funds can be distributed over a period of time to ease the impact on the city’s budget. If a feasible plan can be crafted with TxDOT on timing of the grants, the city would approve the matching grants needed, and construction of the two projects would take place over the next three to four years.

The grants for Dripping Springs are two of 30 projects that the Texas Transportation Commission awarded for under two separate federaly-funded programs: the TA Program and the Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) program that offers funding to enable and encourage safe bicycling and walking for schoolchildren. Those projects include:

• 12 projects totaling $8,577,168 were awarded under SRTS program

• 18 projects totaling $15,838,882 were awarded under the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA) Program

The grant application process for Dripping Springs was a team effort over many months with city staff, the transportation committee, city council, the transportation engineers of HDR, GDS Associates, property owners, area businesses and area organizations.

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