Langley talks transportation funding

"State money should get walkers out of traffic on Anthes Avenue by late next year if Washington's transportation improvement grants don't dry up for some reason.The city of Langley expects to spend $300,000 building a walkway, some concrete sidewalk, and curbs and gutters into one of the busiest streets in the downtown area. The project is one of eight on Langley's six-year transportation plan for 2002 to 2007 and is perhaps the only one that will get funding next year.Explaining the plan at Wednesday's city council meeting, Rick Hill, public works director,l said the city has received enough money in recent years to complete about one transportation improvement project annually. Past projects include the cross-town walkway, which is still under construction, and road resurfacing on Park and Third streets.During the past four years, the state has given Langley about $1 million in transportation funds. If it continues to fund the city's projects, the state is scheduled to pay for a walkway on Camano Avenue, downtown sidewalk improvements, and a pavement upgrade and walkways along Edgecliff Drive.Councilmember Ray Honerlah asked Hill and city planner Jack Lynch if the state money will pay for concrete sidewalks instead of the asphalt walkways the city has built or is currently building between the Island County Fairgrounds and Coles Road. Lynch said the city's comprehensive plan calls for concrete sidewalks downtown, but not on outlying streets. He said the asphalt is better for building low profile walkways that blend better with Langley's neighborhoods.Also in the transportation plan is a $350,000 budget item for dock improvements at the Langley Small Boat Harbor that would allow Mosquito Fleet passenger ferries to serve the city. Lynch said he is not sure of the city will ever make the improvements, but he said it is something that should be the long-term transportation plan in case passenger ferry service becomes a priority. "

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