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Town Branch Trail To Expand

Mayor Jim Gray (official)

Lexington’s Town Branch Trail is moving a step closer to completion.

State and local leaders welcomed funding for yet another portion of the six-phase project Tuesday.

"We're here today to announce a plan that runners, walkers, bicyclists, and proponents of alternative transportation in the Lexington area have been waiting to hear for a long, long time," Gov. Steve Beshear said at a McConnell Springs press conference.

The governor handed over a symbolic $5.5 million check, meant to fund two additional phases linking Masterson Station Park with McConnell Springs along with planning for the final piece. The ultimate goal: to connect downtown Lexington with area neighborhoods, parks, and equine attractions through a nearly six mile network of greenways.

"It's a very complicated project that has taken an enormous amount of cooperation from innumerable people in property owners, railroad, and water," Town Branch Trail, Inc. president Van Meter Pettit said. "It's really exciting when the stars align and everybody is ready for this happen and the opportunity arises."

Still, the project still faces a number of hurdles, as officials negotiate right-of-way acquisitions along the route. The fourth and fifth phases of the trails are slated for completion by 2016.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.