In 2015, the City of Harrisonburg and James Madison University were awarded $364,500 from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Revenue Sharing funds to extend the Bluestone Trail from Sonner Hall to Carrier Drive on JMU campus. The City is administering the project and JMU is providing matching funds in the amount of $364,500.
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB) was selected to provide engineering services for this project. The new trail is 0.27-miles long. Construction is anticipated to begin and complete in Summer 2016. More details of the project can be found on the City of Harrisonburg website
In the Daily News Record on September 16, 2015:
Construction Begins Next Summer On Bluestone Path Extension Through JMU
Posted: September 16, 2015
HARRISONBURG — Construction is expected to begin next summer on an extension of Bluestone Trail in the city.
The project, expected to cost $729,000, is being paid for by a revenue-sharing grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation, according to Tom Hartman, Harrisonburg’s assistant director of public works.
It would extend the trail from Sonner Hall to Carrier Drive on the James Madison University campus.
VDOT announced the funding was awarded in June as part of the fiscal 2016 revenue-sharing program.
The Bluestone Trail was included in Harrisonburg’s 2010 bicycle and pedestrian plan, and work began in 2012.
The existing trail, which opened in October, runs 1.1 miles from the Sentara RMH Wellness Center on Stone Spring Road to the university’s Port Republic Road entrance at Bluestone Drive. Along the way, it bisects Purcell Park.
The 10-foot-wide, hard-surface path is designed for runners, walkers and bicyclists.
The extension will stretch north through campus from Sonner Hall along Bluestone Drive. It will cross Champions Drive and end at Bluestone Drive’s intersection with Carrier Drive.
According to the city’s plan, that intersection will be reworked, including improvements to drainage, crosswalks and signals.
The new section would build on the shared-use path installed during the university’s Newman Lake dam
reinforcement project completed earlier this year, from Port Republic Road to Sonner Hall.
The university approached the city about extending the shared-use path from Newman Lake earlier this year.
JMU applied for the state funding through the city of Harrisonburg, Hartman said, and received $364,500. The city will administer the project, and the school will pay the other $364,500 to complete the pathway.
Initially, extending the trail farther onto JMU’s campus was planned to occur later in the project, Hartman said. The work was moved up after the university was successful in its grant application.
“This wasn’t necessarily ‘phase two,’ but it made more sense to continue it north into JMU,” Hartman said.
Hartman said city officials have no timeline for Bluestone Trail’s second phase, which will extend south from Stone Spring Road to Ramblewood Park.
“We have ideas, and we know how to get it to go where we need it to go,” he said. “It’s just getting the funding.”
Hartman said city officials are excited about the trail.
“It’s better connecting the park and the city to JMU,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from the community about it.”
Contact Rachel Cisto at 574-6272 or [email protected]