(SALEM) - Students will have a safer way to walk to school after a sidewalk project, scheduled to be bid to contractors in early July, is completed. (Leader Democrat)
The Safe Routes to School sidewalk would extend from the intersection of State Route 56 and Posey Street, following Posey Street until it ends, and proceeding westward across Harrison Street and on to Shelby Street to the hospital, said Andrew Wright, city attorney.
Lynn Reed, superintendent of Salem Community Schools, said she thinks the project is a great idea.
"Right now, we don't have any sidewalks in the back of our school, so kids can't really walk from school to the YMCA safely," she said. "They either have to cut through the field, which has problems if it's muddy, or they have to ride a bike or walk in the road and that's not safe.
The sidewalk project is one of three road construction projects that will be part of the contract. Shelby Street will be worked on between Bradie Shrum Elementary School and the YMCA and a path will also be put in that connects Posey Street with Harrison, Bristol and Shelby Streets, running between the baseball field and the nearby houses.
The city has received a $244,000 grant to cover the cost of the Safe Routes to School project, which will be the smallest and least expensive of the three road projects.
Construction will most likely continue into the school year, but Wright said there should be very few changes for students, teachers and parents.
Reed said she can't recall a student being injured by passing cars due to the lack of sidewalks and credits the Salem police department and SCS staff with keeping before- and after-school traffic running smoothly, sidewalks or no sidewalks.
While sidewalk is being built as part of a project aimed at keeping students safe on the way to school, the sidewalk is open to the community as well.
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