A Major Victory for Off Road Cycling Azalea Hill Receives $700k Funding Boost
Good things come to those who wait!
Since the beginning of MCBC’s efforts to advance a safe bike route over Azalea Hill on the Mount Tamalpais watershed, we’ve made the case that adding bikes to the project would make it more competitive for Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding, and that bore out this week.
On Monday, State Parks announced recommendations for $5.6 Million in local recreational trail projects, including $700,000 for the Azalea Hill Trail Restoration Project!
Until this week, the project had only been partially funded – but now Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) has the resources to complete the job.
Since 2011, MCBC has worked to win access to Azalea Hill, getting mountain bike riders off Bolinas-Fairfax Road and onto a new Pine Mountain trail connector skirting the edge of Alpine Lake. The project is key to completing MCBC’s 3 Gaps Trail Initiative, which will create a car-free bicycle trail route from the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Reyes.
To date, about 20% of the trail has been completed. An 80-foot bridge connecting Bullfrog Fire Road with the new multi-use trail is scheduled to be installed later this month. These actions were made possible with grants from Conservation Corps North Bay and the Emig Trust, but without further funding, the remaining 80% of trailwork wasn’t funded… until now.
With the announcement of the $700,000 RTP grant, MMWD has funding in place to complete the project with improvements to the upper portion of the trail, including additional bridges, rock work and retaining walls where the trail exits onto Bolinas-Fairfax Road.
It’s important to call out the win-win nature of this project. In addition to closing a gap for bicyclists traveling between Mount Tam and Pine Mountain, and improving safety, the project will also reduce sediment deposits in Alpine Lake and will restore a large area of sensitive habitat on Azalea Hill.
The RTP provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act Authorization provides funding for the program.
Watch for volunteer work days in early 2021 as work resumes on the project.
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