City’s Southridge-to-school sidewalk project begins

WILMINGTON — Work has begun to connect the Southridge subdivision with Holmes Elementary School.

The City of Wilmington, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), will construct about 2,250 feet of sidewalk along Truesdell Street as part of ODOT’s “Safe Routes to School” program, begun in 2008.

Once built, there will be an uninterrupted sidewalk from Randolph Street to the school grounds of Holmes Elementary.

The project is expected to be completed by Oct. 1.

“The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program provides funds for safety projects that encourage or enable children in grades K-8, including those with disabilities, to walk or ride their bikes to school,” Wilmington Director of Public Service and Public Safety Brian Shidaker told the News Journal.

He said the SRTS program is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by ODOT.

Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Taylor Stuckert told Wilmington’s school board last year that the spot is a dangerous one without a completed sidewalk.

“I see people drive faster than the 35 miles per hour speed limit there, and I’ve seen women pushing strollers there,” Stuckert said. “It will be a marked improvement for school children and other pedestrians. It will connect a significant population — the Southridge Subdivision — to the school. I know the school district welcomes it.”

Last year the board of education approved a donation of 0.13 acre of right-of-way to ODOT and the City of Wilmington for the sidewalk project. The city needed to obtain easements from the affected property owners along West Truesdell.

“The city has been successful in leveraging less than $18,000 of the city’s additional half percent income tax money to bring in more than $350,000 of state and federal funds for this project,” said Shidaker. “We are excited to see approximately 2,250 feet of new sidewalk along West Truesdell Street with new curb ramps, crosswalks, and school signage.

“This is a great long-term investment in our community.”

The News Journal’s John Hamilton contributed to this story.

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Workers this week began to install safety barriers along Truesdell where the new sidewalk will be constructed. this week began to install safety barriers along Truesdell where the new sidewalk will be constructed. Tom Barr | News Journal

By Tom Barr