All five hands of the Grovetown City Council raised simultaneously at the regular meeting Monday approving $30,000 of already informally-committed funds to add sidewalks to Harlem-Grovetown Road.
The need for sidewalks near the new Grovetown Middle School was brought to the council's attention by principal Carolyn Fries, who sent a letter home with students and to the council warning parents not to let students walk to school on Harlem-Grovetown Road.
"As you know, it is very dangerous for children to walk down that road to our new middle school," said Mayor Dennis Trudeau, who drives his granddaughter to the school every morning.
Students, excited about being able to walk to school for the first time, are difficult to see in the early morning hours along the roadside, Trudeau said. There is a bridge near the school where students are forced to walk on the road.
"The hazard is there and it is a worthwhile project. It needs to get done," said councilman Bruce Stoddard just before approving the funds.
The $30,000 will be added to $12,000 committed by the county and $24,000 from Department of Transportation. The project will add approximately 2,500 feet of sidewalk and bridge to cover approximately .1 mile from the school to Adams Lane at the city limits.
The DOT funds are leftover from Grovetown's Greenspace project, said Columbia County's preconstruction engineer Ronnie Hutto. The commissioner allowed some of the funds to be used on the sidewalk project that is estimated to cost $64,000 for the sidewalks and bridge extension.
"We are waiting on the right of way certification letter from the Department of Transportation authorizing the funding," Hutto said. "As soon as we get that, we will proceed to bid out the project."
The private contractor winning the bid for the project will actually install the sidewalks. No estimated start time as been set as it is contingent on DOT certification of funding, Hutto said.
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