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Marklein, Tranel: Trail funding roadblock solved at state level
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State Reps. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green) and Travis Tranel (R–Cuba City), officials from the state Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, and local officials from Lafayette and Grant counties have come to an agreement to save funding for the paved walking and bike trail from Belmont to Platteville.

The 7.3-mile project would serve as a connection between Belmont and Platteville on the Pecatonica State Trail. It had earned a federal grant in 2004, but work on the project has been consistently delayed by state government hurdles. Due to those delays and an item in the last state budget the existing funding already awarded had been threatened. Through the cooperation and coordination of local and state officials the project will be able to retain its current funding.

“This trail has a lot of local support and I’m glad that we were able to work to overcome hurdles and ensure the project’s future,” said Marklein.

Tom Jean, Lafayette County highway commissioner and administrator of the project, said that after years of work the trail is finally poised to move forward.

“Completing the Belmont to Platteville section of the Pecatonica State Trail has been a top priority,” said Jean.

“My hope is that the trail project will be able to move forward from the planning to building stage soon,” said Tranel.

Construction is expected to start in 2015 with completion of the trail in 2016. It will connect downtown Platteville, including the university campus, with the Village of Belmont and will contribute to the Pecatonica and Cheese Country trails.