The Woodlands Township board of directors May 24 approved a resolution supporting a grant application to the Texas Department of Transportation for a shared-use path across Hwy. 242 that would connect the communities of Harper’s Landing and Windvale.

The background: Following a large scaling back of a TxDOT Hwy. 242 expansion project due to resident concerns over safety, the township began seeking alternatives for constructing a shared-use path to connect the two communities on opposite sides of I-45.

TxDOT approached the township in January with a grant opportunity that could provide the needed funding for the township to design and propose its own project design for the shared-use path and have TxDOT complete the work alongside the Hwy. 242 improvement project.

What’s next: The deadline to submit a grant application is June 5, and the township has over 20 letters of support from village associations, schools, temples and other community figures, which will be a part of the packet submitted to TxDOT. The resolution approved at the May 24 meeting from the township will also be included in the packet to show support for the project.

The township is requesting roughly $8.5 million from TxDOT, and the grant will require a $1.6 million match from the township to be paid with capital project funding, Chief Operations Officer Chris Nunes said at the May 24 meeting.

Civil engineering firm Quiddity is assisting with the development of the grant application and initial engineering of the pathway, according to the meeting agenda.

“We do have a strong application, and we’ve been working really hard on this, and we are in contact with a former TxDOT employee who used to review these applications,” said Linda Alvarado-Vela, senior program manager for Quiddity. “She is helping us tweak things here and there and telling us what reviewers are looking for.”

Once the grant request is turned in, the township will have to wait to hear back from TxDOT for approval, but the work could begin as early as next year if everything moves smoothly, Nunes said.