UPPER CUMBERLAND – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) recently announced multimodal access grant awards to two communities within the Dale Hollow Rural Planning Organization (RPO) region: Gainesboro and Hartsville-Trousdale County. Both awards will fund the design and construction of new sidewalks.

The Town of Gainesboro applied for a new sidewalk from the intersection of State Route 53 and South Murray Street, traveling east and terminating at the intersection of state routes 53 and 56. TDOT awarded Gainesboro $616,033 for the project.

Hartsville-Trousdale County requested funds for a new sidewalk from the intersection of Depot Street and Broadway (State Route 141), traveling north to the intersection of Broadway and McMurray Boulevard. TDOT awarded the community $589,155 for the project. 

TDOT’s Multimodal Access grants are competitive and require a 5- or 10-percent match from the local government applicant, depending upon its economic status. Successful projects support the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. 

UCDD Dale Hollow RPO Coordinator Mark Dudney worked with UT Center for Transportation Research Director Matt Cate on the Gainesboro application, and with Mid-Tenn Project Engineer Evan White on the Hartsville-Trousdale County project. Gainesboro Mayor Lloyd Williams and former Hartsville Mayor Stephen Chambers worked closely with Dudney during the application process.

“I am thrilled that these applications were funded,” Dudney said. “The multimodal access grants focus on making communities safer and improving connectivity for citizens. Both these communities planned and laid the groundwork for this success.” 

UCDD is contracted with TDOT to establish two RPOs in the Upper Cumberland region: the Center Hill RPO, which includes Cannon, Cumberland, DeKalb, Putnam, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties, and the Dale Hollow RPO, which includes Clay, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Smith, and Trousdale counties.

Their purpose is to facilitate input from rural counties to TDOT for transportation planning. RPOs work with TDOT to identify the Upper Cumberland region’s needs regarding highways, transit, bike/pedestrian issues, aviation, and waterways. RPOs are partners with Tennessee’s development districts because economic and community development drives many of the transportation improvements in rural counties.