March 14, 2017, revised March 22, 2017
Completion of the South County Bike Path Gets Boost with Green Economy Bond Grant
On Monday, March 13, 2017, Governor Gina Raimondo announced the award of a $750,000 grant to the Town of Narragansett to build a portion of the final segment (Phase 4) of the William C. O’Neill South County Bike Path. (Read the March 13 Press Release.)
A week later, Narragansett took the first step in the process when the Town Council members voted 5 to 0 to instruct town staff to draft a request for proposal for design services.
The grant is part of the $10 million allocated for bikeway completion and connections in the Green Economy Bond approved by Rhode Island voters in November 2016. Nine other projects will also receive Green Economy Bond funding, including a bike path connection between the University of Rhode Island and the South County Bike Path.
The funding, which is administered by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, will be available in July.
The funded project, dubbed Phase 4A, includes three components:
Provide a safe crossing at Mumford Road where the South County Bike Path currently ends at Mumford Road in Narragansett.
Construct the first 1,375 feet of the proposed off-road route through Canonchet Farm to the Narragansett Town Beach. This portion begins at Mumford Road and travels on town property behind the Narragansett Elementary School schoolyard and the adjacent athletic field to a point where the remainder of the Phase 4 route turns northeast to travel on the grade of the SeaView Railroad and through Canonchet Farm.
Construct a 375-foot bike path along the east side of the athletic field to the Narragansett Community Center parking lot.
With the loop around the school property, bicyclists and walkers will have a safe entrance to the bike path, enjoy the convenience of public parking spaces and avoid the dangerous vehicular traffic in front of the Narragansett Elementary School. In the meantime, funding for the balance of Phase 4 remains in the 2017-2025 R.I. Transportation Improvement Program as described below.
Funding in Place for
Bike Path Completion
A little more than a mile remains to complete the William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path from the Kingston Station to the Narragansett Town Beach, and funding is now in place to finish the bike path with an entirely off-street route through Canonchet Farm. Construction of the path was begun in 2000 using the easement of the former Narragansett Railroad through the Great Swamp, Peace Dale and Wakefield, and with the completion of Phase 3 in 2011, to Mumford Road near the Narragansett Elementary School.
Applications submitted by the Friends of the South County Bike Path and the Town of Narraganset have resulted in budgeting for the final segment of the bike path in the state’s 2017-2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), with funding beginning this year for design and construction of the final segment of the path using an “off-road route through Canonchet Farm.” However, the project is phased over the next six years with funding in the out years less certain.
The Green Economy Bond approved by the voters in November 2016 represents a second funding source that may accelerate completion of the path. The R.I. Department of Environmental Management is now reviewing proposals for completing and connecting bikeways around the state including the South County Bike Path.
Friends Group Proposes Off-road Path
to Complete the South County Bike Path
On January 7, the Friends of the William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path submitted an application to R.I. Statewide Planning to have Completion of the South County Bike Path via Canonchet Farm, Narragansett, R.I. placed on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for the ten-year period beginning September 1, 2016. Placement on the TIP is the first step in securing Federal and State funding for transportation projects.
NRPA supports the Friends of the Bike Path application, which proposes the same off-road alignment that the Town of Narragansett does in its TIP application.
Click the links below to view the four files that make up Friends of the Bike Path application (please allow time for the selected file to download):
♦ Cover Page
♦ Application Narrative
♦ Site Maps
♦ Statement of Proposal Benefits