The city of Hailey received news on Nov. 12 that it was passed over in its bid to get $4,100,000 in requested funding from a federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to rebuild four blocks of River Street with sidewalks and bike lanes.

The city has been contemplating and planning the project for years. In 2010 it contracted with Harmony Design and Engineering for $41,943 in outreach and design work in anticipation of a Local Highway Technical Assistance Council grant, but the city instead dedicated its required matching funds to rebuild Woodside Boulevard.

About 2.5 miles of Woodside Boulevard was upgraded with a $3.3 million grant and about $800,000 in city funds.

Hailey officials accepted a $1.85 million state grant in 2016 to use for the redevelopment of four blocks of River Street from Galena Street to Walnut Street.

City Administrator Heather Dawson said in June that based on preliminary designs and study, the grant was funded at $2.3 million. The city was expected to pay 7.6 percent of that cost, or $174,800.

The city-approved design for River Street includes angled parking, new lighting and bike paths and sidewalks on both sides of the street, separated by a planting strip with new trees every 40 feet. Following recent public workshops, a sidewalk to Hop Porter Park was also planned.

Hailey Public Works Coordinator and grant writer Tracy Anderson said the grant would have been combined with $250,000 of Hailey Urban Renewal Agency funding to complete the project.

The city’s goal included finalizing designs for the project in fall 2020, with possible construction in 2021, pending the Idaho Transportation Department scheduling.

“It was a very competitive grant process, but you never know unless you throw your hat in the ring,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the city has no immediate plan to secure replacement funding for the project.

“It’s a big project and there are not that many programs out there with that much funding,” she said.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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