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(Stillwater, OK) — The Oklahoma Department of Transportation awarded a grant of approximately $1 million to the City of Stillwater for a project that would convert unused railroad tracks to multi-use trails.
The Council authorized staff to apply for an ODOT Transportation Alternatives Grant that would help cover the cost of the proposed Rails to Trails conversion. Stillwater’s project was selected from a highly competitive field of applications, the agency announced Monday.
“This is a major win for our residents and visitors who enjoy biking, walking, running and all of our multi-modal community,” City Manager Norman McNickle said.
The trail for pedestrians and bicycles will be located within a corridor now containing an unused rail line that runs through the center of the city. The new multi-use trail will tie incomplete sections of the Kameoka trail system together and connect Stillwater north to south.
The section currently proposed lies between Main Street and Perkins Road and would extend 1.25 miles north from McElroy Road to Boomer Lake Park. Eventually, the goal would be to also extend the same distance south, forming a trail that connects Boomer Lake Park on the north side with Couch Park in southeastern Stillwater.
A section of track and switching station located north of Boomer Lake Park would remain intact for potential use by manufacturing facilities in that industrial area.
The City Council approved the required 20% funding match in November 2022 and pledged to appropriate enough money each year to operate and maintain the trail throughout its life.
“This project is one that we believe serves all residents,” McNickle said. “We are grateful to receive the grant and excited to move forward with the project.”
A timeframe for construction has not been announced.