Demonstrating his commitment to expanding greener transportation options and recreational opportunities, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced an additional $1.4 million in Federal Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) funds for the construction of the Three Notch Trail project in St. Mary’s County. The new five-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail will extend from MD 5 in Mechanicsville to MD 236 in New Market. Once constructed, this missing link will provide an 11-mile continuous path through St. May’s County.
“Trails not only strengthen and connect communities, they enhance the quality of life for those who walk and bike along them,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Constructing this segment of the Three Notch Trail will provide opportunities for Maryland’s families, residents and visitors to explore and enjoy our great State’s natural and cultural treasures.”
Being built atop the former Washington, Brandywine and Point Lookout Railroad bed, the Three Notch Trail Phase Six is a 10-foot wide, five mile long addition that will provide connections between the finished Charlotte Hall and Laurel Grove trail phases. The trail will feature an asphalt surface with two to three foot wide grass shoulders. Earlier this week, Governor O’Malley also announced $470,000 in State funding for this trail project through a Maryland Bikeways Program grant. St. Mary’s County, which is managing the project, will also contribute funding to the $2.87 million project.
“I’m pleased that Governor O’Malley has awarded additional Federal Transportation Enhancement Program funding for the construction of the Three Notch Trail, which will provide recreational, tourism and transportation opportunities in Southern Maryland and serve as another premier recreation trail for the State of Maryland,” said Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5). “The trail will ensure our residents have access to a healthy transportation alternative, connecting them to homes, businesses, and other sites along the 11-mile path.”
“The St. Mary’s County Delegation has long championed the Three Notch Trail. Now through the continued, solid partnership between the federal, state and county governments, we can complete this crucial new phase and missing link,” said the Honorable Roy Dyson, Maryland State Senate.
“We are appreciative of the State of Maryland's support for construction of the next phase of the Three Notch Trail,” said St. Mary’s County Commissioner President Jack Russell. “The trail continues to provide residents and visitors recreational and transportation opportunities in a controlled and safe environment.”
The multi-use trail will be marked with appropriate signage, rest benches, and landscaping. Featuring an asphalt surface, the trail will meet ADA requirements making it accessible to all. The Three Notch Trail Phase VI enhancements are funded through the TEP Program, which funds non-traditional, community-based transportation-related projects. The Governor determines which projects qualify for funding based on need and potential benefit to the public. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration oversees the federal program, which has awarded more than $206 million for 270 projects in Maryland since the TEP program began in 1991.