Haslam presents grant for Somerville enhancement project

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced Friday the award of a $799,646 transportation alternative grant to Somerville for the Downtown Enhancement Project.

The project is focused on each of the main corridors entering the Fayette County Courthouse Square and the downtown business district of Somerville.

The improvements include the replacement of sidewalks, curbs, driveways and crosswalks. Street trees and landscaping will also be added throughout the project area, along with decorative pedestrian lighting.

“Downtowns are the hearts of our communities, and creating better access to them adds to the great quality of life in our cities and towns and helps us be more attractive to businesses,” Haslam said. “This project will encourage more residents to walk and enjoy the area by creating a more pedestrian oriented environment in Somerville’s downtown.”

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $318 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

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.

Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Rep. Leigh Wilburn (R-Somerville) represent Fayette County in the Tennessee General Assembly.