BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge officials have been awarded a $1.1 million federal grant to design and start construction of a downtown greenway.

The Advocate reports ( the three-mile network of bike paths and pedestrian walkways will stretch from Memorial Stadium to City Park.

The Downtown Development District this week also announced an $886,000 federal grant for the first phase of a gateway to the Mississippi River bike trail on River Road at Florida Street.

The greenway grant gives the city a total of $3 million for the greenway project. That's enough to design the entire system and build a portion from North Boulevard Town Square to City Park, DDD executive director Davis Rhorer said.

Rhorer said construction should begin in about a year.

The greenway proposal is rooted in concerns over the visual division Interstate 110 divides downtown and the Midcity area.

Rhorer said the greenway eventually will connect city neighborhoods with the LSU campus and the bike path on the Mississippi River levee.

Although the greenway will run beneath portions of Interstate 110, plenty of lights, good viewpoints and visibility will help make it safe for users, Rhorer said.

The $886,000 grant for the bike trail head and gateway also would pay for a connection from the levee at Florida Street to the town square via a walkway along the west side of River Road, Rhorer said.

The work will include landscaping, brick inlays at crosswalks and improvements to a railroad crossing.


Information from: The Advocate,