State OKs grant for Pathfinder improvements

July 11, 2018

The City of Bartlesville was notified recently it has been tentatively approved for $132,700 in grant funds for improvements to the Pathfinder Parkway trail at Eastland Shopping Center, Grants Administrator Nancy Warring said Monday.

The grant is awarded through the Recreational Trails Program, which is a state-administered, federal aid program managed through the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department and the Federal Highway Administration in consultation with the Department of the Interior. The intent of the Recreational Trails Program is for funds to be used on recreational trails and trail-related projects, Warring said.

“This is very good news,” she said of the notification. “This will allow us to make necessary improvements to the Pathfinder system utilizing grant funds in combination with voter-approved half-cent Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) funds.”

According to Community Development Director Lisa Beeman, the money will be used to construct a new trail connection south of Eastland Shopping Center.

“This portion of the trail needs to be re-connected south of the shopping center due to the construction of Chick-Fil-A and other businesses at the center over the past several months,” Beeman said. “Currently, people using the trail have to park north of Chick-Fil-A and cross quite a bit of traffic either on foot or on their bicycle to access the trail.

“This grant money will allow us to construct a much safer and more convenient way to access the trail, as well as keep the trail off Frank Phillips Boulevard and the shopping center parking lot.”

A meeting for public input on the project was held in January. A number of citizens expressed support and provided letters of support, which were included with the application.

Warring said the grant now moves toward final approval.

“We have a few more hoops to jump through but fully expect the Federal Highway Administration to give us final approval,” she said.