Build Grant ImageBUILD Grant - $10.4 Million in Federal Funding

The City of Paducah is receiving significant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program. In July 2019, the City submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting funding to improve various transportation elements along the downtown riverfront. 

Paducah will be receiving $10.4 million for the Riverfront Commons project which includes

  • Riverboat Excursion Pier and Plaza - The Riverboat Excursion Pier and Plaza was identified in the 2007 Riverfront Master Plan as one of many projects to enhance Paducah’s riverfront.  The pier will provide a docking point for the riverboats that visit Paducah. Currently, visitors disembark and must climb a steep slope from the Foot of Broadway in order to access the downtown area. The installation will provide a safer and easier transition from boat to land, allow for more secure riverboat dockings, and move the disembarkation point out of the flow of traffic at the Foot of Broadway.
  • Bike, Pedestrian, and Broadband Linkages - Bike, Pedestrian, and Broadband Linkages will include the development of a multi-use path from 6th Street along Park Ave/3rd Street into downtown to aid in the movement of pedestrian/bike traffic from the Convention Center/Dome to downtown. Key intersection improvements, including curb extensions, wayfinding, bus shelters and crosswalks, will make for an improved pedestrian experience. A broadband installation along the riverfront will allow for emergency call boxes, security cameras, and hardline internet access for the transient boat dock.
  • Improvements to the landing near the Transient Boat Dock - The Transient Boat Landing improvements include connecting sidewalks from the floodwall to Greenway Trail, improving traffic control, adding landscaping to prevent erosion and providing shade, wayfinding, and amenities for users of the transient boat dock.

Kentucky General Assembly Approves Funding for BUILD Grant Project

The local community had a very successful session of the Kentucky General Assembly which ended in April 2024. In the final two days of the session, lawmakers finalized legislation and funding. Included in that funding is $3.5 million for the City of Paducah to complete this federally funded BUILD Grant project. The Paducah Board of Commissioners officially accepted the funding at its June 11, 2024, meeting.

For local community projects, almost $14 million was approved in the session (including the BUILD Grant project) in addition to $16 million for the new access road to the Riverport West/Triple Rail economic development site in West McCracken County.

Learn More about the BUILD Grant

BUILD Grant Concepts

2023 - View 60 Percent Design Concepts to view the images prepared when the design was 60 percent complete. A few of the details have changed since then; however, the general plan is the same.

2020 - Visit Riverboat Landing Area/Concrete Monolith Concept Drawings to view concept drawings and improvements for the riverboat landing area and artistic designs for the concrete monoliths along the riverfront which are remnants of a conveyor system for offloading materials from barges. 

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What is the BUILD Transportation Grant?

In April 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced an opportunity for organizations to apply for $900 million in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program. This funding is due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019.  BUILD Transportation grants replace the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

The 2019 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure. They were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact.  BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation. Projects were evaluated based on criteria giving special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas. This includes projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, deploy broadband as part of an eligible transportation project, or promote energy independence. 

For the 2019 round of BUILD Transportation grants, the maximum award was $25 million with no more than $90 million to be awarded to a single state.  Plus, at least 50 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas. Paducah is classified as a rural area. Paducah submitted its application by the July 15, 2019, deadline.  

Project Benefits
  • Enables efficient and safe multi-modal movement of people throughout downtown Paducah.
  • The new Riverboat Excursion Pier & Plaza will improve the safety for passengers exiting the riverboats by removing a significant impediment for many passengers, particularly elderly & disabled, from even disembarking: a steep 20% grade climb.
  • Enhancement of the riverfront will attract transportation-based economic development opportunities, as well as new tourism and recreational opportunities for the 4-state region.
  • Reduction of pedestrian-auto conflicts through improved intersection connections and multi-use path construction.
  • Increased usage of local transit facilities by providing instructional and route information that is readily accessible, safe & protected.
  • Improvements of the Transient Boat Dock Landing will improve safety, environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness and connectivity for guests and citizens of Paducah.
  • Grant application submitted:  July 2019
  • Grant award notice:  November 2019
  • Obligation of funds:  September 30, 2022 (City approved agreement with MARAD at August 23, 2022, City Commission meeting.)
  • Contract with engineering and design company (Request for Qualifications closed October 26, 2021.  Ordinance for contract with HDR, Inc. with BFW as subcontractor approved March 22, 2022)
  • Design process and development of construction documents:  2022-2024 (The 30 percent design meeting with cost projections was held in late 2022. In Spring 2023, the City received the 60 percent design package.)
  • Construction bid process: Project placed out to bid in June 2024 with bids due July 9, 2024.
  • Construction process: Work to begin in 2024. Then, an estimated 18 month construction period with a 3 month close-out process.  
  • Required substantial completion of construction (per granting agency):  September 30, 2027
Grant Award Announcement and Celebration - November 2019

Paducah celebrated on November 6, 2019, with a news conference.  Read Sen. Mitch McConnell's News Release