The city of Hermiston and Umatilla County are working to obtain a grant to install a bike lane on Highland Avenue in Hermiston from Southwest 11th Street to Riverfront Park.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement program have $20 million available for bicycle, pedestrian and transportation projects and are accepting notices of intent.

Hermiston city planner Clint Spencer said the project should cost around $400,000.

“The state will select finalists this summer and a more detailed application is due at the end of the year,” Spencer said.  Funds will be awarded in July 2013, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation website.

Right now, bicycle lanes end at the intersection of 11th Street and Highland Avenue. The road is considered a minor arterial with no sidewalks or bicycle lanes and a high traffic volume moving at 35-45 miles per hour, according to the notice of intent from the city and county.

The park is used often by city and county residents, but it is away from dense residential areas making it easy to access by car, but not easy to access on foot or via bicycle, the notice reads.

The solution is to build a six-foot bicycle lane on the north and south sides of Highland Avenue and install a pedestrian signal at the intersection of Highland and Southwest 23rd Street.

Umatilla County is set to provide the use of property for the project and a financial contribution, while the city is set to bring staff time contributions to the table.

The grant requires a 10 percent match and in-kind contributions are acceptable, Spencer said. The city and county have not decided on how the match would be allotted, pending whether or not the city and county are invited by the state to apply for the grant, he said

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