MORRISVILLE — A section of Church Street is getting a new sidewalk, thanks to a federal grant.
Morrisville received about $100,000 in federal funds through the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to help complete a 1.2-mile walking loop around its future downtown.
The town will add about 2,000 feet of sidewalk on the east side of Church Street from Page Street to the Historic Christian Church.
The grant will also help pay for about 250 feet of sidewalk on the west side in front of the historic church.
Town staff will meet with nearby property owners Tuesday to talk about the project and to answer questions.
For the past decade, the town has been planning a 22-acre downtown off Church and Jeremiah streets.
So far, the town has added some streetscape improvements, bought about 11 acres of land and put in place development codes.
Morrisville is still seeking a private partner to develop the project, which could include a library, offices, retail stores and a recreation center.
Local historian Ernest Dollar is working with Morrisville to add 10 to 12 historical signs along the Town Center Walking Loop.
Notable landmarks in the area include the Historic Christian Church, Pugh House and natural geology.
Some signs could include information about the town’s past. For example, the old fire station used to be a hosiery factory, Dollar said.
Dollar said the signs could also include QR codes, and a cellphone walking tour could provide pre-recorded messages.
“From an economic standpoint, this (walking loop) could be used to develop tourism,” he said.
To complete the loop, the town will connect to existing sidewalks on Morrisville-Carpenter Road, Church Street and Jeremiah Street on one end. At the other end, it will connect the historic church to the Town Hall campus and Indian Creek Greenway and Trailhead.
The sidewalk design is expected to be completed this fall. Right-of-way easement acquisition will continue until next spring. Construction is set to start by the summer.
The entire project will cost about $157,000. The town’s share is $48,000.
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