As followers of the local news likely are aware, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Lexington’s Town Branch Corridor project a $14.1 million TIGER grant. For context, the Town Branch Commons is the name of two complementary public spaces: 1) the Town Branch Corridor, the network of trails that will now interconnect through downtown, and 2) the Town Branch Park. You can see a beautiful conceptual images of the Town Branch Park by clicking here. It is the park that will be placed behind Rupp Arena in place of the Cox Street parking lot.
The TIGER grant, in combination with CMAQ, TAP, KIA, and local funding, will support the construction of a 3.8 mile connector for the Legacy and Town Branch Trails. The additional funding will support the $35.5 million construction. This investment will give our community a contiguous 20 mile trail network that connects our urban core to some of our most beautiful green spaces. For example, one could ride a bicycle from Masterson Station to the heart of downtown and then to the Kentucky Horse Park. This TIGER grant helps complete the Town Branch Corridor, the backbone of the Town Branch Commons project. It demonstrates substantive progress and investment, an important signal to private donors for the Town Branch Park. Much needed storm water and sanitary infrastructure improvements will also be part of the construction. For a more detailed discussion, please see the presentation at the August 30, 2016 Work Session here.
I am enthusiastic and supportive of the Town Branch Commons project. I believe it will be transformational. As I’ve had the opportunity to travel to other communities I’ve observed how world-class parks contribute to the vitality and quality of life of those communities. I look forward to seeing a world-class commons where Lexingtonians can convene for public events and leisure. I am also hopeful that the Town Branch Commons can serve as a flagship example of the importance and value of public parks and as a stimulus to needed park improvement throughout our community.