Columbia to apply for federal transportation grant

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COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council members will authorize an application on Thursday for funding from MoDOT's Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).

One of the projects up for funding was a trail connectivity project involving Cosmo Park and Bear Creek Trail. The goal is to connect Cosmo Park and Bear Creek Trail to the pedestrian bridge across I-70 at the Stadium/I-70 Diverging Diamond.

The project will also involve a redesigned trail from the Creasy Springs Bear Creek trail head into Cosmo Park. The redesigned trail would be less steep and also paved.

Council member Michael Trapp said the application was based on research rather than public outcry.

"We have a systematic approach of looking at it. One of the factors we look at is how many people are traveling through those areas. Are there incidents of pedestrian-auto or bicycle-auto conflicts, and we factor all that information together and then we weigh out projects and we put them on lists. The when we get funding opportunities, we take things off the top of the list," he said.

The total cost for this project is $625,000. The project cost would be split 80/20 between federal and local funding, with $500,000 coming from the federal TAP fund and $125,000 coming from the local Parks Sales Tax.

The applications for TAP funding are due on Nov. 14 and MoDOT will announce the selected projects sometime in January 2015.