Hoping to continue developing a pedestrian and bicycle trail system in and around Kalispell, the Parks and Recreation Department is using allocated federal funds to build a new path along the stretch of Sunset Boulevard on U.S. Highway 93.
Mike Baker, director of Parks and Recreation, said the project would give pedestrians and bicyclists a safe route north toward the Kalispell Regional Medical Center and Flathead Valley Community College. The project will cost an estimated $300,000, but funds from the Community Transportation Enhancement Program will cover roughly 86 percent, or all but $42,000.
“The city’s only paying 14 cents on the dollar. That makes a lot of sense for us,” Baker said. “It’s really a benefit back to the communities.”
Baker said the ultimate goal is to use downtown Kalispell as the nucleus for a city-wide and county-wide trail system, connecting the north end of town, Lawrence Park, Whitefish Stage, West Reserve Drive and the Great Northern Trail.
“We see a lot of people utilizing our trails,” Baker said. “We see families out for a walk or bicycle riding. We see people use them for rehab after surgeries or to get out and exercise. These trails provide a safe environment for all that.”
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