The City of Paducah is excited to share the news received today from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the City will be receiving significant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program. In July of this year, the City submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting funding to improve various transportation elements along the downtown riverfront.
Mayor Brandi Harless said, “That river [Ohio River] is what made us a city, and our downtown is what’s makes us unique. It’s the beginnings of our existence here, and it deserves to be honored and for us to take full advantage of its potential. As we continue to compete with other cities for jobs and to grow our population, these are the types of projects that will set us apart. Between this project, the TIF District development, and the Opportunity Zone designation, our riverfront and downtown have a bright future ahead of us.”
Paducah will be receiving $10.4 million for the Riverfront Commons project which includes the following elements:
Leader McConnell said in a news release, “With this BUILD grant, Paducah can continue creating new opportunities for tourism, recreation and commerce along the riverfront in support of good jobs and economic growth. Making Paducah an economic leader in our Commonwealth and the region has long been a priority for me, and I have been proud to work with Mayor Harless, Judge Clymer, and other city leaders to continue developing the riverfront and its vast potential. As Senate Majority Leader, I’m constantly looking for new opportunities for this wonderful region, and I was glad to help deliver this latest federal investment in Paducah’s bright future.” Read Leader McConnell's Entire News Release >>
City Commissioner and Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Wilson said, “We are so grateful that this was chosen. It was very competitive. So, it took support from the community, support from the City, support from the State, and support from the federal officials to make this happen.”
City Manager Jim Arndt said, “This really is what it is all about. We sat down back in January and focused on our Strategic Plan. This project helps us get 12 of those initiatives. It’s a monumental occasion for the City of Paducah.”
About the Riverfront Commons Projects - The Riverboat Excursion Pier and Plaza was identified in the 2007 Riverfront Master Plan as one of many projects to enhance Paducah’s riverfront. The pier will provide a docking point for the riverboats that visit Paducah. Currently, visitors disembark and must climb a steep slope from the Foot of Broadway in order to access the downtown area. The installation will provide a safer and easier transition from boat to land, allow for more secure riverboat dockings, and move the disembarkation point out of the flow of traffic at the Foot of Broadway.
Bike, Pedestrian, and Broadband Linkages will include the development of a multi-use path from 6th Street along Park Ave/3rd Street into downtown to aid in the movement of pedestrian/bike traffic from the Convention Center/Dome to downtown. Key intersection improvements, including curb extensions, wayfinding, bus shelters and crosswalks, will make for an improved pedestrian experience. A broadband installation along the riverfront will allow for emergency call boxes, security cameras, and hardline internet access for the transient boat dock.
The Transient Boat Landing improvements include connecting sidewalks from the floodwall to Greenway Trail, improving traffic control, adding landscaping to prevent erosion and providing shade, wayfinding, and amenities for users of the transient boat dock.
About the BUILD Grant Program - The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 appropriated $900 million to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation for National Infrastructure Investments otherwise known as the BUILD grant program.
Applicants were able to apply for surface transportation infrastructure projects that would have a significant local or regional impact. Projects were evaluated based on criteria giving special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas. This includes projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, deploy broadband as part of an eligible transportation project, or promote energy independence.