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Grant to fund walking trail
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Georgia Department of Transportation announced last week that $250,000 has been approved for a multi-purpose trail that would connect the City of Dawsonville to Veterans Memorial Park.

The one-mile trail would begin on Burt Creek Road, where the city’s sidewalks end, travel east for about a mile and connect with the walking trail at Veterans Memorial Park, which was completed earlier this year.

“We’re very excited that the DOT chose to give us funding for this, and we’re going to start the process to move toward that,” said Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner.

The county already has about $130,000 in hand from a previous Transportation Enhancement grant that was also awarded to fund the project.

“We’re fairly confident at this stage that we’ll be able to complete the entire trail project with the grants. We’ll make some adaptions to make it work,” Tanner said.

County Engineer Corey Gutherie is now working with DOT consultants to design the trail, which could take up to two years to completely construct.

“There’s a small section of property we’re going to have to acquire right of way or an easement through the property before we can begin,” Tanner said.

The trail in Dawson County was one of about 145 projects selected by the State Transportation Board.

More than $200 million in requests were submitted to the DOT for some $55 million in grant money.

The state’s Transportation Enhancement program “is an important tool for us to help local communities do needed projects to improve the quality of life for their citizens,” DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith Jr. said.

DOT, which awarded another $1.5 million in grants for projects in Forsyth, Hall, Lumpkin and White counties, administers the federally funded reimbursement program.

The Federal Highway Administration established it as a way to enrich the traveling experience of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians by helping a community’s transportation system with aesthetic and functional improvements to historical, natural and scenic areas.

The federal government provides 80 percent of a project’s funding with local governments providing the remaining 20 percent.

DCN regional reporter Jeff Gill contributed to this story.