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The Odd Couple: Historic Preservation and Transportation Enhancements

Restoring historic transportation buildings through preserving ferry terminals and historic railroad stations.


Ferry Building (CA) - 1898


Rocky Mount Train Station (NC) - 1903

Lafayette Depot (IN) - 1902

Project Example: The Ferry Building (San Francisco, CA), built in 1898, has survived 2 major earthquakes and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The remodeling and improvements will reestablish the Ferry Building as a major intermodal transportation center and mixed use complex.
Federal TE Award: $2 million / Other Funds: $61 million / Total Project Cost: $63 million

Project Example: Lafayette Depot (IN), built in 1902 - a TE award helped fund the relocation and renovation of the historic Lafayette Depot and the refurbishment of the Main Street Bridge for use as a bicycle and pedestrian path. The Main Street Bridge connects the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette and provides access from the depot to the Wabash River Heritage Trail. It is used by Amtrak, the local transportation service, and contains a bank branch, a railroad historical society as well as the Downtown Business Center.
Federal TE Award: $1 million / Other Funds: $7.1 million / Total Project Cost: $8.1 million

Project Example: The Rocky Mount Train Station (NC), built in 1903 - TE funds were used to rehabilitate the old station into a new intermodal transportation facility. Rocky Mount Train Station now provides train, bus, and taxi service.
Federal TE Award: $7.4 million / Other Funds: $1.4 million / Total Project Cost: $8.4 million


Preserving historic transportation infrastructure through historic bridges and canals.

Project Example: Richmond Canal Walk, Richmond, VA
Photo of the Richmond Canal Walk, Richmond VA The Richmond Canal Walk is a 1.25-mile walk through historic downtown Richmond via the Kanawah and Haxall canals and the James River. A multi-phase $1.7 million TE award was used for canal floor restoration, walls, edges, and a 950-foot section of the walkway. It passes a former Confederate armory, the Richmond Civil War Visitor's Center, and Triple Cross--the intersection of 3 elevated railroad lines. Canal boats, festivals, concerts, the nearby Turning Basin, Brown's Island, and other public events have made the Canal Walk popular with the community and tourists. Plans for mixed-use development are underway. The Canal Walk is expected to bring an additional 6,000 jobs and $60 million in tourism revenue to Richmond by 2010. The City of Richmond and the Richmond Riverfront Development Corporation (RRDC) combined the project with the installation of a new sewer system running under the canals. The Canal Walk and combined sewer project received the nationally recognized American Council of Consulting Engineers 2001 Honor Award for their innovative canal and sewer project design.
TE award: $1,700,000 / Other funds: $7,150,000 / Total cost: $8,850,000.

Project Example: Hunterdon County Bridge, Clinton, NJ
Photo of the Hunterdon County Bridge, Clinton NJ The 130 year-old Hunterdon County Bridge across the south branch of the Raritan River is still in use because of a $340,000 TE award. The bridge fell into disrepair, trusses were bent or broken, bolt hangers and the stone masonry began to deteriorate. Maintenance was done on an emergency basis or deferred; bridge inspectors noted the structure's historic significance while recommending that the whole structure be replaced. Due to the historic significance of the bridge and public support, the county rehabilitated the bridge. Rehabilitation was less expensive than replacing the bridge, required less closure time, and would not affect bike, pedestrian, or canoe travel. The bridge connects Main Street businesses with a historic mill and museum.
TE award: $340,000 / Other funds: $139,000 / Total cost: $479,000.

Project Example: Rainbow Arch Bridge, Fort Morgan, CO
Photo of the Rainbow Arch Bridge, Fort Morgan CO The Rainbow Arch Bridge is the only bridge of its kind in the State and one of the longest of its kind in the country. The design includes 11 arches that stretch 1,100 feet over the South Platte River. This design won the bridge a space on the National Register of Historic Places and designation as a Colorado Civil Engineering Landmark. The Fort Morgan Historical Society worked with the city of Fort Morgan and the Colorado Historical Society to generate matching funds for a two- phase TE award to restore the bridge for pedestrian use. It is a popular tourist attraction and a center for community events such as the annual Tin Man Triathlon, and is the entrance to the Pawnee Pioneer Trails, a part of Colorado's Scenic and Historic Byways system.
TE award: $595,000 / Other funds: $155,000 / Total cost: $750,000.


Preserving historic railroad corridors through rail-trails.

Photo of a group of people riding recumbent bikes along a trail
Historic Union Pacific
Rail Trail State Park (UT)

Photo of a pedestrian crossing and rail trail sign
Photo of a ground breaking cermony along a trail
Mineral Wells To
Weatherford Rail-Trail (TX)

Photo of a group of equestrians along a trail

Project Example: Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park, (Park City, UT)
The 28-mile gravel trail parallels I-80 (Wasatch Mountains), connects with a 13.5 mile mountain biking loop.
Federal TE Award: $295,000 / Other Funds: $286,000 / Total Project Cost: $581,000

Project Example: Mineral Wells to Weatherford Rail-Trail (Mineral Wells, TX)
Recently owned by Union Pacific Railroad. TE funds used to acquire right-of-way, trail development, re-deck 15 railroad bridges, and construct of three trailheads and 20 miles of trails.
Federal TE Award: $1.6 million / Other Funds: $0.3 million / Total Project Cost: $1.9 million


Celebrating transportation history through transportation museums.

Project Example: Pennsylvania Trolley Museum - Trolley Display, Washington, PA
Photo of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Washington PA The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has a 28,000-square-foot metal display building housing electric railway cars. The thirty cars cover the entire spectrum of electric cars, and come from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and even Brazil. The trolley cars range from a 1880s Pittsburgh horse car to a 1980s Pittsburgh electric streetcar. The TE award funded the first phase of building construction, which had more than 110,000 cubic yards of earthwork and installation of effective stormwater management measures.
TE award: $475,000 / Other funds: $0 / Total cost: $475,000.

Project Example: Route 66 Museum, Kingman, AZ
Photo of the Route 66 Museum, Kingman AZ Route 66 was one of the earliest continuous highways across the United States, from Chicago to Los Angeles. From the 1920s and 1960s, "The Mother Road" carried travelers and migrants towards the promise of new life in the West. It became the subject of countless songs, films, books, and legends. Route 66 was fragmented in the 1960s and 1970s by the Interstate system. The longest remaining fragment of the original road passes through Kingman AZ. The City of Kingman created the Route 66 museum to honor and preserve the road's history. The City rehabilitated a historic electric powerhouse building for the museum. The exhibits depict the evolution of travel along Route 66 with murals, photos, and life-size dioramas. A matching grant from the Heritage Preservation Fund of the National Park Service financed the exhibits and displays.
TE award: $240,000 / Other funds: $60,000 / Total cost: $300,000.

Project Example: Lincoln Highway 200 Mile Roadside Museum, US Route 30, PA
Photo of the Lincoln Highway 200-Mile Roadside Museum The Lincoln Highway 200-Mile Roadside Museum commemorates the history of the Lincoln Highway. Over $300,000 in TE funds provided exhibits along the route such as interpretive signs; murals depicting the highway's heyday; and colorful vintage gas pumps painted by local artists. Also visible along the way are examples of programmatic architecture, including the Coffee Pot, the Ship Hotel, and the Shoe House, which serve as fun and whimsical beacons to travelers along this historic route.
TE award: $240,000 / Other funds: $60,000 / Total cost: $300,000.


How do I get funds for my project?

Complete the project application completely. However, please remember that project reviewers have limited time available to review your application. Provide the essential information necessary to determine if your project is eligible and beneficial. But please don't include information that is not relevant or necessary.

Do not include:


For more information:

Thank you to the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse, operated under a cooperative agreement with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, for the programming chart and the project examples.

Updated: 09/27/2013
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