The Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization estimates close to 415 jobs will be created in the Roanoke Valley over the next six years. Some of those positions will be responsible for finishing the Roanoke River Greenway, connecting it from Greenhill Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
On Thursday, the planning commission - which awards money for transportation projects - approved nearly $13 million to complete the trail. In all, the area will get about $28.2 million for projects in Roanoke, Vinton and Botetourt County.
"The whole goal is to make our transportation network more efficient and more sustainable in the longterm," says Tyler Godsey, Communications Manager with the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.
Another chunk of the money will go to study the economic impacts of the proposed Norfolk Southern intermodal center in Elliston.
Studying the idea of a multi-model transportation center in downtown Roanoke is also getting a sizeable portion of the $28 million.
Other projects awarded money include:
Bus Replacement for Smart Way Commuter Service - Valley Metro
Plantation Road, Bicycle, Pedestrian and Streetscape Improvement Project - Roanoke County
Exit 140 Park and Ride Reconstruction - Roanoke County
West Main Street Pedestrian Improvement Project - Roanoke County
Walnut Avenue Phase I: Street Improvements - Vinton
Glade/Tinker Creek Greenway Bridge - Vinton
Walnut Avenue Phase II - Vinton
Downtown Roanoke Signal Coordination - Roanoke City
Tinker Creek Greenway Corridor Planning Study - Roanoke City
Botetourt and Roanoke Counties Greenway Connectivity Study - Botetourt County
Street Resurfacing - Raonoke City
Route 24 (Dale Avenue) Bridge over Tinker Creek Reconstruction - Roanoke City
The total economic impact of the 15 projects is estimated to be $45 million for the regional economy.