By MARK COOK
Franklin was the last stop on a four-city mini tour for Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday where he announced the winners of federal Transportation Alternative Grants.
Franklin’s giant check was made out for $1 million, and will pay for the next phase of a multi-use trail along Hwy. 96 West.
Franklin Vice Mayor Pearl Bransford said the Tennessee Department of Transportation funded Phase 1 last year with an $800,000 grant. The $3.3 million project will run from Boyd Mill Avenue to Fifth Avenue North.
“There are four schools, a couple of churches, Jim Warren Park and several neighborhoods in this area,” Bransford said.
Haslam lauded the federal government for letting states and local communities decide what sorts of projects to fund. TDOT took applications from all over the state before deciding to award the grants to Franklin, Fayetteville, Murfreesboro and Pulaski.”
“A lot more communities apply than we have money to grant,” he said.
The Transportation Alternative Grant program provides federal money via the Tennessee Department of Transportation to build sidewalks, bike and pedestrian trails and to renovate historic transportation-related structures such as train depots.
Haslam said such amenities enhance quality of life and sense of community, which in turn spurs economic development.
Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Sam Whitson, along with city aldermen, joined the presentation.
Whitson said the good news for Franklin isn’t over, with the next phase of Mack Hatcher eventually connecting Hwy. 96 West and Hillsboro Road.
“Next summer we will see Mack Hatcher starting,”