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Olivia trail initiatives move forward with grant funds

OLIVIA -- Efforts to build the backbone of a trail system for bicycle and pedestrian use in the city of Olivia are moving forward. On Wednesday, the Renville County Board of Commissioners approved actions to allow the county to serve as agent for...

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OLIVIA - Efforts to build the backbone of a trail system for bicycle and pedestrian use in the city of Olivia are moving forward.

On Wednesday, the Renville County Board of Commissioners approved actions to allow the county to serve as agent for grants and projects the city is pursuing.

The city was recently informed it will be receiving alternative transportation funding from the state and federal governments for the first phase of work, a Safe Routes to School trail. The funds will allows the city to develop a 10-foot-wide, bituminous trail to the BOLD Schools campus. The trail will follow Ninth Street south of the school and loop around the south side of the Olivia Golf Course and connect to the east side of the community.

The city is expecting $200,000 for the first phase of the project. Construction could get underway in the spring of 2020, City Administrator Dan Coughlin told the West Central Tribune.

The city is also applying for funds to extend the system to the west to connect to U.S. Highway 71 and the city's Pond Park west of the highway. The city is hoping to undertake this second phase of work in 2022, when the Minnesota Department of Transportation is planning safety improvements on Highway 71 in Olivia. The city is seeking $350,000 in funding for the second phase.

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The second phase of work is aimed at providing a safe corridor for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, as well as improving safety for crossing Highway 71.

Both projects are part of an overall, long-range goal to provide corridors to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic throughout the community, according to Coughlin.

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