Danville City Council voted Thursday night to authorize the city manager to apply for state funding that would pay 80 percent of the cost to extend the Riverwalk Trail along the north bank of the Dan River from the pedestrian/bicycle lane on the Robertson Bridge to the intersection of Trade and Advance streets.
The application will be made to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which administers a grant program that now operates under the name MAP-21 Transportation Alternatives. Formerly, this program operated under the names ISTEA and SAFETEA-LU.
The city has had success in obtaining money from this program for the Crossing at the Dan complex, the pedestrian bridge and the Riverwalk Trail.
The Riverwalk on the Dan is an 8.5-mile, paved trail for pedestrians and bicyclists, with routes on the north and south banks of the river. Currently, the trail is being extended on the north bank of the river from the Union Street Bridge toward Sandy Creek.
The city hopes eventually to connect the trail on the north bank from Sandy Creek, which would need bridge construction, to the Robertson Bridge. If VDOT approves the application authorized by City Council, the city would move a step toward completing the connection.
Further steps to complete the connection of the north side of the river will be taken as funds become available.
Funding from the MAP-21 program requires the city to provide a minimum of 20 percent of the total cost for planning and design, right of way, and construction of the trail extension.