Freeman announces almost $1 million for local projects

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – State grants totaling nearly $1 million were awarded today for a multi-use trail project at Lafayette College and to renovate tennis courts in Wilson Borough, according to state Rep. Robert Freeman.

“I’m very pleased to see this Lafayette trail project become a reality, because it was suggested by me during a conversation and tour of the grounds that I had with some college administrators several years ago,” said Freeman, D-Northampton. “It will provide a safe path for pedestrians and bicyclists to access College Hill and the surrounding neighborhood and be accessible to the general public.

“I’m also glad that Wilson Borough will receive funding to reconstruct four tennis courts at Meuser Park for residents to enjoy as an outdoor activity.”

Lafayette College was awarded $869,694 to address infrastructure gaps in Easton’s pedestrian and bicycle networks by creating a multi-use path to link an existing parking lot along South College Drive on the east end of campus to the midpoint of the historic staircase and continue toward Bushkill Drive where it will connect with the popular Karl Stirner Arts Trail along the Bushkill Creek. The trail will be constructed north of College Avenue where there is a 150-foot drop between Lafayette College and downtown. The path will have a distinct start and end, but it is designed to easily connect to additional pedestrian and bicycle networks on other ends of campus and the College Hill neighborhood. It will establish a new connection point with the historic stairs that will head southwest toward Bushkill Drive. The trail will end at the bottom of the escarpment on Bushkill Drive, providing a direct link to the Karl Stirner Arts Trail and area designated for exhibiting artwork.

The college has committed an additional $372,726 to complete the project.

Wilson Borough will use $125,000 to reconstruct four tennis courts at Meuser Park. The existing tennis courts are in poor condition and the fence is rusted, warped and bent. Reconstruction will involve demolishing the existing fence and tennis courts, reconstructing new tennis courts from the base up and adding new fencing.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, awarded the grants through the CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund grant program and the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.