Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Office of Gov. Bill Haslam, Aug. 18, 2011:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined state and local leaders at Erwin Town Hall today to announce grants the town of Erwin and Unicoi.
A $463,787 transportation enhancement grant to the town of Erwin will be used for Phase II of the Erwin Linear Trail Project.
Phase II of the Erwin Linear Trail Project includes construction of 705 linear feet of pedestrian/bicycle trail parallel to Old Fishery Road and Zane C. Whitson Drive. The project also features a pedestrian tunnel under Harris Hollow Road. This project will complete a five mile trail system and provide a much needed link to Fishery Park.
“Hundreds of people throughout Unicoi County and surrounding areas already use Erwin’s trail system,” Haslam said. “This final project will provide users with safe passage through a busy intersection and create a link to one of the town’s recreation centers. I’m pleased the state could make this investment.”
The award of a $30,016 transportation enhancement grant to the town of Unicoi will be used for directional signage and the creation of an information kiosk.
The information kiosk will be constructed at Unicoi’s Town Hall, which also serves as the Visitor’s Center. The kiosk will create an easily accessible information center containing maps and brochures about local historic and scenic sites. Signs for the information kiosk will also be installed at strategic locations around the county.
“Unicoi County is rich in history and scenic beauty, and offers many recreational and educational opportunities,” Haslam said. “This project will provide residents and visitors with easy access to valuable information 24 hours a day.”
The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $259 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Established by Congress in the early 1990s, the program supports activities designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic and environmental aspects of the nation’s transportation system.”
A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.
Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown ) and Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) represent Unicoi County in the Tennessee General Assembly.