Richmond Mayor Connie Lawson and City Manager David Evans traveled Friday to Frankfort to receive a $145,000 check from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The money is to be spent restoring existing sidewalks, as well as creating more sidewalks and bike trails.

The grant was a part of Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s Transportation Enhancement and Safe Routes to School awards ceremony hosted at the transportation cabinet in Frankfort.

“We have to go take some training to show us how we can use the money,” Lawson said. “We know we can use it for sidewalk restoration in front of the cemetery (on Big Hill Avenue) and for bicycle trails, but we want our money to go a lot further.”

Sidewalk repair and sidewalk construction have been two hot topics lately stemming from a recent incident where a woman was hit on her mobilized wheelchair and another incident where a woman was hit by a car on Irvine Street, which has no sidewalks.

“I think the answer to people in wheelchairs and those who ride bicycles is to have wider sidewalks,” Lawson said. “We have really old streets and they’re small. I’m not sure if we would have room to add another lane for bicycles and wheelchairs.”

A community development block grant from the governor’s office is paying for the Linden Street restoration project, where new sidewalks have been built throughout the neighborhood, she said.

Another project that will be coming to fruition soon is the “Colonel Walk,” which will be the construction of a sidewalk that will go from downtown Richmond to the area around Telford Hall on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus.

The city also has built a sidewalk going from Main Street to the Eastern Bypass via Boggs Lane.

“The city employees did those projects and they did a beautiful job,” she said. “We’re hoping that they will be able to do the next projects. That will allow us to have more money for concrete and design work.”

In order to find other places where sidewalks need repair, Lawson is going to ride around the city with members of the city’s street department to find problem areas.

“I hope to start there and hopefully make a five-year plan,” she said. “But, I hope it doesn’t take five years.”

Lawson will be completing another application for a $250,000 grant that will allow for bicycle trails.

“I think they would work best in the Duncannon area,” she said. “The city owns a piece of land that contains an abandoned railroad and the Rails to Trails group have found some other areas that may be nice for a bike trail.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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