By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Ste. Genevieve city officials pondered what project to make a priority in seeking a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant during a work session last Thursday night.
In the end, the aldermen opted to pursue adding sidewalks along St. Mary’s Road as the first priority, rather than extending sidewalks up N. Fourth Street, to Rozier Street.
TAP grants can include sidewalks, walking or bicycle trails, etc.
Last year the Southeast Missouri region had $1.3 available. This year is about $6.3 million, for a two-year cycle.
City Administrator Happy Welch noted that TAP grants try to achieve “more mobility, more accessibility” for people.
“My thought was Fourth Street, where it ended on the east side and get that connected with Rozier,” he said. “That gets us connected from downtown on all these sidewalks – they may not be the best, especially in front of the mill – but it connects you to Rozier by sidewalk, you cross the street, you’re on M Highway on a sidewalk. That’ll get you out to Progress Parkway eventually, even though you have to cross the highway. That’ll get you down to the community center.”
He said that Cochran Engineering is already approved by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), so a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) would not need to be obtained if Cochran is used.
The grant would be an 80-20 match.
Ward 2 Alderman Michael “Buck” Jokerst asked whether any land purchase might be necessary for a big sidewalk project.
Welch indicated there potentially could be, although the right of ways on the highways are 80 feet. “You’ve got a lot of room,” he said.
Jokerst said he was really referring to St. Mary’s Road.
Welch said one idea was to cut through the Moses Austin property, owned by the Jour de Fete Committee and crossing the wooden pedestrian bridge by the Green Tree Inn. Other than a rocky bank, he said that would be “a perfect spot,” where a sidewalk could take pedestrians on to the Amoureux and Bequette-Ribault Houses, further out St. Mary’s Road, where Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park is centered.