BikeNet Projects Help Billings Community - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

BikeNet Projects Help Billings Community

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Ales for Trails took place Friday night at Dehler Park.

The annual BikeNet fundraiser brings in money that goes towards the construction and maintenance of Billings' multi-use trail system.

Ever wonder what happen's to all the money raised at BikeNet events like Ales for Trails? It goes right back into the community.

For example, the path that runs through the Bench Connector off of Main Street, completed two years ago.

"The BikeNet match for this project, for the trail and for the tunnel underneath Main Street, was $75,000. That trail connected the existing Kawanis path along Alkali Creek, and then too the Main Street tunnel that goes underneath Main, and then allows people to ultimately get back on top of the rims," said Jeff Bollman, BikeNet President.

Another example of a past project with a big impact is the Broadwater Connector.

"The match that BikeNet provided for this trail was $14,000. The trail basically connects the Lillis Park to Zimmerman Trail. There were existing trails on both of those. And then it comes and it allows a connection to Will James Middle School," said Bollman.

A big portion of funds go to the planning and constructing of new projects, such as engineering fees of $5,000 that BikeNet provided for the soon to come Aronson Trial Connection.

"So this new trail will provide a connection from where the trail stops right now, underneath Aronson, and connect into Swords Lane, and will take you up to Airport Road," said Bollman.

But perhaps the biggest project is the addition of a bike bridge at 25th Street Downtown, scheduled to begin construction as early as next year.

Bollman said, "This project is a bridge at 25th Street, and it's going over the Montana RailLink Railroad tracks. So the idea is to provide a connection from Montana Avenue to Minnesota. And it's going to be a bike-pedestrian connection over the top of the railroad tracks. The contribution BikeNet is making for the 25th Street Bridge is $35,000."