The City of Ottawa will seek grant monies to help build a multi-purpose walking and bicycling path that would bridge the north and south sides of the community.

Ottawa city commissioners voted 5-0 Wednesday to submit an application to the Kansas Department of Transportation for use of transportation enhancement funds to construct an asphalt path — 1,600 feet long and 10 feet wide — along the north side of the Marais des Cygnes River levee from Main Street to the Logan Street and K-68 intersection, near Oak Street. The project also would make improvements to the crosswalks on the east and north sides of the K-68 and Main Street intersection, which city officials said would be designed to improve safety for pedestrians crossing the busy intersection.

If the grant is awarded, the city would be responsible for funding $58,418.40 of the project, with KDOT transportation funds covering $156,873.80 of the work. City planners estimated the total project would cost about $215,292.

The city’s planning department had received input from residents requesting the path, Wynndee Lee, the city’s director of planning and codes administration, told commissioners. Lee said the path’s construction would have no effect on the integrity of the levee.

The path serves a twofold purpose, Linda Reed, city commissioner, said.

“It’s connecting trails, and it brings in the north end, which has been one of our goals,” Reed said.

Blake Jorgensen, Ottawa mayor, pointed out the city is going after the same funding mechanism it used for the recently completed 15th Street sidewalk and bicycle path project.

Jorgensen encouraged residents to write letters of support for the project, which would accompany the grant application.

City planners said letters of support always are beneficial when submitting these types of grant applications.

Lee commended Tom Yahl, planner/codes officer in her department, for taking the lead on this project. Residents interested in writing a letter of support for the multi-purpose path can call Yahl at (785) 229-3622.

Doug Carder is senior writer for The Herald. Email him at