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New or Improved Roads and Trails
|A cyclist road-tests a new five-mile section of trail bordering National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. The trail opens officially in May.|
|Credit: Brian Schilling, Teton County|
Four transportation projects will provide safer and more appealing bicycle and pedestrian access to national wildlife refuges in 2011:
- Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia — A three-mile bike/pedestrian trail along an abandoned rail line from US Route 13 to the refuge visitor center will make the refuge easily and safely accessible by bike. The trail, expected to open officially in spring 2011, also connects Cape Kiptopeke State Park and the refuge. The $363,000 project was funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation, Northampton County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia — A .5 mile bike/pedestrian connection between the refuge entrance and a Town of Chincoteague traffic circle will make bike and pedestrian access to the refuge safer and more appealing. The new section links the Chincoteague bike trail system with the refuge bike trail system, with a proposed completion date in late spring 2011. Funding for the $600,000 project came from the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program, under the Federal Transit Administration.
- National Elk Refuge, Wyoming — The first five miles of a bike/pedestrian trail that will one day connect the town of Jackson with Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park opens in May. The finished portion reaches from Jackson across the Gros Ventre River and gives bicyclists and hikers a safe way to view the refuge from May through September . The Sarbanes Program paid $3 million for 4.2 miles of the graded trail. The remaining mile was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the State of Wyoming and Teton County. The bridge over the Gros Ventre River into the national park is funded with another $1 million in special assessment funds from Teton County. Once complete, the trail will provide 20 miles of off-road pathway between the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Interagency Visitor Center in Jackson and the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.
- Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma — The first phase of a $1 million project, slated for completion in 2011, will widen two miles of road to the refuge entrance, providing safer refuge access for cyclists and pedestrians along road shoulders. The widened road will eventually intersect the Cache Fitness Trail, a 2.5-mile off-road path that will connect the refuge and the neighboring town of Cache. The $750,000 fitness trail is funded by the state transportation department and Comanche County Industrial Development Authority.
June 19, 2012m1 -->June 19, 2012