44-mile Napa Valley Vine Trail gets $2.5 million federal grant

NAPA -- The Napa Valley Vine Trail, a 44-mile mixed use pedestrian and bicycle path currently under construction throughout Napa and Solano counties, has received $2.5 million in federal funds last from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The funding, announced by Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, will help complete the Solano Avenue segment of the trail  in north Napa to connect to Yountville. The trail will eventually run the length of the entire Napa Valley and connect from Calistoga to the Vallejo Ferry Terminal -- thus providing a link to San Francisco.

Proponents of the trail anticipate it will generate as much as $75 million a year in ongoing economic impact, while providing 60 jobs per mile. The entire trail is expected to cost about $50 million over 10 years of construction, according to the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition.

“This grant provides the pivotal funding to connect 60 percent of Napa County's population together between Yountville and the city of Napa on a safe walking and biking trail separated from Highway 29,” said Chuck McMinn, founder and executive director of the Vine Trail Coalition, which has coordinated support among 18 different agencies for the trail.  “We are extremely excited to receive it and gratified that our project was recognized for funding from among the many projects submitted from across the United States.”

Funding consists of about an 80 percent mix of public money and 20 percent in private funds raised by the Vine Trail Coalition. The Yountville and St. Helena sections of the trail that were deemed “shovel-ready” last year received federal stimulus monies allocated for transit projects that reduce  carbon emissions or provide alternative transportation methods.

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