The city and its community redevelopment agency recently won a $749,240 grant to build a tree-lined, meandering path for bicycles and pedestrians on an unpaved section of Fifth Avenue South.
The transportation alternatives grant from the county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization will cover most of the cost of the 10-foot-wide paved path landscaped with Florida native trees and shrubs planned for a 1,500-foot stretch of Fifth Avenue South between A and F streets.
Even though the grant has been awarded, the money is not expected to flow until July 2016. The city and the CRA are expected to provide matching money for the $1.2 million project.
“It’s good news for Lake Worth,” said Chris Dabros, project manager for the Lake Worth CRA. “It should be a great project that’s needed in that area.”
The greenway will include benches, bike racks and decorative crosswalks with flashing lights at intersections that are expected to improve the look of the neighborhood and encourage people to walk or ride bicycles instead of driving. New bicycle lanes on B and E streets are planned to connect the greenway to Sixth Avenue South.
The Fifth Avenue South greenway is expected to help Lake Worth High School students reach neighborhoods without walking along Sixth Avenue South, where cars often travel at high speeds.
“This project is a model for how we can deal with the unpaved roads in our city,” said Erica Whitfield, administrator of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities grant program at the Palm Beach County School District who worked on the greenway grant application.
The city also announced plans recently to pave a dirt section of 10th Avenue South between A and E streets using money from a federal grant. Work on that project is expected to begin this summer.
Lake Worth has 27 miles of unpaved roads and alleys, according to a master plan that outlines $63 million worth of road, drainage and utility line improvements needed citywide.