‘Safe Routes’ Project Gets Under Way In Brown County
Construction Scheduled To Start Next Week In Aberdeen
Chillicothe (Friday, September 3, 2010) – As part of the nationale Safe Routes to School program, construction of a much-anticipated pedestrian and bike path along U.S. 52 at Aberdeen is about to begin.
According to Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart, crews from the Shelly Company will construct a one-mile, shared-use path from the RULH Middle School to the Aberdeen public library. The project also includes the installation of bike racks, pedestrian signs and pavement markings.
“Safety issues for children traveling to and from school are of great concern for parents,” said Brushart. “In order to encourage walking and bicycling, there needs to be safe, viable transportation options, and this project provides such an option.”
Established in 2005, the national Safe Routes to School program provides federal funding for a wide variety of projects, from building safer street crossings to establishing programs that encourage children and their parents to walk and bicycle safely to school.
“The SRTS program is a sustained effort by parents, school officials, community members and government agencies, and we commend the dedication of the community leaders in Aberdeen and at RULH Middle School to develop their School Travel Plan and see this project realized,” added Brushart.
National statistics from 1969 showed that half of all students walked or bicycled to school. Today, fewer than 15 percent of all school trips are made by walking or biking. Instead, more than half of all children arrive at school in private automobiles. Aimed at elementary and middle schools, ODOT’s Safe Routes to School program is part of a national movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to walk and bike to and from schools.
With projects designed to keeping children from walking in the streets or along train tracks to increasing the number of police officers watching over school zones, ODOT is investing a record $11 million in federal transportation funds this year to make getting to school safer for students in 41 Ohio communities.
The Shelly Company of Thornville, Ohio, was awarded a contract in early August for approximately $298,655, and throughout construction, there should be little to no impact to motorists. Construction is set to begin Tuesday, September 7, and the scheduled completion date for all work is November 15, 2010.
For more information contact:
Kathleen Fuller, public information officer
ODOT District 9
740-774-8834 (office) or 740-637-9037 (mobile)