ARC to help fund Tanglefoot Trail whistle stops
The Appalachian Regional Commission announced this past week approval of a grant in the amount of $177,880 to the Three Rivers Planning & Development District for the Tanglefoot Trail Whistle Stops project.
The project will involve the construction of four whistle stop rest areas along the Tanglefoot Trail in Mississippi. The project is expected to generate an annually estimated 18,750 daytime visitors and 6,250 overnight visitors as well as $1.2 million in additional tourism revenues.
“We are thrilled to have ARC as our partner in developing the Whistle Stops along the Tanglefoot Trail and appreciate their support for this extraordinary economic development opportunity for our communities and region,” Tanglefoot Trail Commission Chairman Betsey Hamilton said.
The GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District was formed to support right-of-way purchase, design, construction, and management of 44.5 miles of abandoned railroad corridor, which will become a multi-use recreational trail called the Tanglefoot Trail. The proposed project funding will be utilized to construct four whistle stop comfort stations along the Tanglefoot Trail in the communities of Ingomar, Ecru, Algoma, and New Houlka. The whistle stops provide rest areas for the recreational trail users and will include restrooms, water fountains, bike rack, picnic tables, waste receptacles, and parking. This rails-to-trails project will preserve the abandoned railroad corridor and its right-of-way as a rail banked corridor for possible future reactivation for economic development. The anticipated opening of the Tanglefoot Trail is Spring/Summer of 2013. Tourism studies in Mississippi show that an estimated 25,000 could use the trail annually.
In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $177,880, bringing the total project funding to $355,760.
Confirmed Grant Funding (as of March 8, 2013)
$9.6 million – Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds (MDOT)
$350,000 – MDOT State Appropriation
$100,000 – Recreational Trail Program for Whistle Stops (MDWFP)
$ 40,000 – E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Grant
For Whistle Stops in Ecru and Algoma
$177,880 – Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for Whistle Stops
$ 26,600 – Individual and Business Donations for Whistle Stops