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A Lafayette Consolidated Government plan to lengthen the University Common bike path will provide a direct connection between the main campus and University Common.

The existing two-mile path along Cajundome Boulevard, which has been in place since the fall of 2011, spans two points between Eraste Landry Road and Johnston Street.

As part of the extension project, the path will be extended from where it ends on Johnston Street, near the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center, all the way to East Lewis Street.

The new section will encompass a route via St. Michael and St. Julien streets. The extended path will travel through Youth Park and carry over St. John coulee.

The project also includes plans to install shared roadway signage and pavement markings along Reinhardt Drive.

In total, the work will result in about 1.25 miles of new bike pathways.

Construction is scheduled to start next year, with a target date of late spring, said Joey Benoit, a planner with Lafayette Consolidated Government.

“We’re hoping to have the extension completed during the fall of 2014, hopefully in September or October,” Benoit said.

The University Common bike path as it now exists was funded with a $1 million Federal Transportation Enhancement Grant.

The extension work will be funded with a $450,000 Federal Transit Administration grant, to which UL Lafayette added about $50,000, Benoit said.

The funds are provided by the Federal Transit Administration's Bus Livability Initiative and the grant was awarded on a competitive basis to the city of Lafayette. according to a recent press release issued by the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Another federally-funded LGC project will link the existing University Common with a more than 1-mile stretch that will stop at the existing Parc Sans Souci trailhead.

Work on that project is anticipated to begin sometime later this year.

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