The Town of Chapel Hill received a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity — or RAISE — grant for $1,000,000 on June 23.
RAISE grants, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, are intended to help communities across the U.S. pursue new transportation infrastructure projects.
This grant will allow the Town to work towards “increasing mobility, access, and safety for all residents through a network of connected greenways that will transform development patterns and transportation in Chapel Hill,” according to the Town's grant proposal.
Bergen Watterson, Chapel Hill’s transportation planning manager, said the main project that the Town prioritized in their grant proposal was a feasibility study on over 25 miles of proposed greenways.
The feasibility study will look at the proposed greenways and analyze environmental, community, social and financial factors to ensure each greenway follows the best path possible.
“At the end of the study, we will have a package of 25 miles of greenways that are ready to move into the design phase,” Watterson said.
She said this comprehensive approach to greenway analysis and planning won’t be possible without the RAISE grant.
“We are almost strictly reliant on federal funding to build these kinds of projects,” she said. “They are hugely expensive projects.”
N.C. Rep. Allen Buansi (D-Orange) said the grant will play a big role in connecting greenways throughout Chapel Hill. Buansi wrote a letter of support for the grant proposal.