Governor Phil Bredesen joined TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely and state and local leaders today to announce the award of a $211,963 transportation enhancement grant to Johnson City in Washington County for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Depot Stabilization project.
Funds for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Depot Stabilization project will be used to stabilize the historic depot building for use as a railroad museum in conjunction with East Tennessee State University and a recreational trail head. Johnson City grew around the intersection of three railroad lines and their depots. The CC&O Depot is one of two remaining depots and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The railroad is an important link to the early development of Johnson City,” said Bredesen. “I’m pleased the state is able to provide these funds to preserve the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Depot, which is an important link to the city’s history.”
Representative Dale Ford is a strong supporter of the project and added, “This project will restore this historic train depot to its former beauty and will be used to help tell the story of Johnson City. I’m pleased the Governor and TDOT are providing these funds for this project.”
Senator Rusty Crowe and Representative Matthew Hill also supported the project.
The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded approximately $223 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said Nicely. “Established by Congress in the early 1990’s, 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. A full list of grants like this for biking, walking, and community enhancements can be found at this TDOT site
Working with local legislators and state transportation officials has paid off with a grant that will enable the Johnson City Development Authority to secure an historic building as key trail head in one of it's greenway systems. Plans for the facility include a bike rental and repair shop, cafe, museum space, and public facilities. Dan Reese, Depot Project Manager and Bike Walk TN board member thinks this will kick start local efforts at preservation and development of the facility. Follow more news on this project here:
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