Lexington receives $7.7 million in grant money

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Steve Beshear and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) officials on Tuesday announced the award of $6.5 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and $1.2 million to Lextran to improve safety and air quality in Kentucky’s second-largest city.

The grant awards total $7.7 million.

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“These road and trail projects will help Lexington continue to strive to have a clean, healthy environment to support its strong quality of life for families and businesses,” Gov. Beshear said.

The $1.2 million CMAQ funds for Lextran, the Transit Authority of Lexington, will be provided for the purchase of buses powered by compressed natural gas.

The remaining funding will help Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government complete several local projects:

• Brighton Rail Trail Bridge Phase IV: $2,182,302-Design and construction of a bridge and trail connections across Man o’War between Helmsdale Place and Pink Pigeon Parkway.
• Fiber Optic Cable: $424,000-Installation of fiber optic cable at Clays Mill Road from Twain Ridge Road to Keithshire Way and at Man o’War Boulevard from US 27 to Ft. Harrods Drive.
• Turn Lanes at Manchester and Forbes: $714,296-Widening of east and westbound approaches of Manchester Street at the South Forbes Road intersection to provide dedicated left turn lanes from Manchester Street to northbound and southbound Forbes Road.
• Squires Road Sidewalk: $165,093-Construction a new sidewalk on the north side of the 200 block of Squires Road.

• KY Horse Park Legacy Trail Extension: $2,513,609-Construction of a 1.8-mile extension of the Legacy Trail shared use path located along the southern and western property boundaries of the Kentucky Horse Park.

• West Hickman Trail: $760,710-Construction of a shared use trail within Veterans Park. This will be an extension of an existing trail within the park that connects to an elementary school.
• Hope Center Trail: $324,092-Construction of a 1,500 foot shared use trail located off Loudon Avenue near downtown Lexington. This is an extension of the Legacy Trail and connects to the Coolavin spur of the Legacy Trail and will connect to the North YMCA Legacy Trail Head.
• Fourth Street Corridor Enhancements: $1,040,000-Construction of new sidewalks, drainage improvements, wayfinding and signage, street and pedestrian lighting along 4th street between Jefferson and Upper Streets, and intersection traffic calming at Fourth and Jefferson, Fourth and Broadway and Fourth and Upper Streets.

• Town Branch Commons: Midland Section-$3,200,000-Construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities which will connect to other similar improvements in downtown on Main and Vine Streets. This section will eventually connect Town Branch Trail to Legacy Trail through downtown. Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen joined Lexington Mayor Jim Gray yesterday to make this announcement in Lexington.

“We know that, decades ago, people moved to where the jobs were,” Mayor Gray said. “But today, jobs go to where the people are. And people are going to cities where they can find a high quality of life. These are the kinds of projects that improve quality of life in Lexington. Thanks to Gov. Beshear.”

Federal CMAQ funds are for innovative transportation projects or programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. Kentucky annually receives CMAQ funds for use in areas striving to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Such areas are designated “nonattainment” or “maintenance” for the standards.

CMAQ funds are available to state and local government agencies as well as private entities through public-private partnerships. Nonprofit organizations may also apply in partnership with state or local government agencies.

KYTC solicits applications for CMAQ funds and makes awards. The cabinet’s Office of Local Programs administers all CMAQ funds and project applications.
CMAQ projects support Gov. Beshear’s efforts to improve the health of all Kentuckians. The Governor launched kyhealthnow as an aggressive and wide-ranging initiative to reduce incidents and deaths from Kentucky’s dismal health rankings and habits. It builds on Kentucky’s successful implementation of health care reform and uses multiple strategies over the next several years to improve the state’s collective health.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.