TONASKET — The City of Tonasket was awarded funding from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Safer Routes to School Program to construct a new sidewalk on Fourth Street. The project began Monday, Sept. 25.
Students will soon have a safer way to get to and from school, as Rudnick and Sons, LLC, contractor on the project, broke ground Monday morning and will soon add a sidewalk onto the southside of the road, along with other multimodal improvements along 4th Street between Tonasket Avenue and the high school. The estimated completion date is Friday, Oct. 27.
The purpose of the Safe Routes to Schools Program (SRTS) is to improve safety and mobility for children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. Funding from this program is for projects within two-miles of primary, middle and high schools (K-12).
According to the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), walking and biking can be fun for kids, especially if they can join their friends on the way to school. There are lots of reasons to walk or bike to school — less traffic, safer streets, and cleaner air. The best reason is that it is a great way for kids and parents to be active, says the state Department of Health.
“More kids in Washington State are walking and biking to school as schools and communities build new sidewalks and safer pedestrian crossings and educate kids on safe walking and biking behaviors. Advocacy groups and public partners, including the Washington State Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Commission, and Washington State Department of Health, are working together to create new grant programs and provide support to schools and communities initiating Safe Routes to School programs,” states WSDOH.
Safe Routes to School programs should include:Engineering “fixes” such as sidewalks, street safety and design improvements.
Education to encourage kids to be active by walking and biking.
Enforcement to improve traffic safety around schools, and Community health initiatives to link parents and kids with community efforts that make it easier for them to live a healthy life.
“We wanted to have better access for walkers and bikers from downtown to school. We want safe routes to school. It gives a little of a buffer for kids to be able to walk safely within our community. We want to improve our pedestrian walkways. We were looking at this area and also over on Havillah Road, trying to get a sidewalk on Havillah, going from downtown up to Roy Scott’s. This is the first awarded,” said City Councilwoman Alisa Weddle.
The total project cost will be $263,055. Fourth Street will not be closed during construction and all roads will remain open.
If you have any questions or concerns during construction, contact either Alice. Attwood at email@example.com or Peter Cowger at firstname.lastname@example.org.