CHATHAM–Both the Chatham Central Schools District and the Village of Chatham announced this week that work has started on the Safe Routes to Schools project.
“After several years of working with the DOT and CSX to get everything worked out to implement a federal grant, the Safe Routes to Schools project is finally scheduled to begin,” Village Mayor Tom Curran wrote on the Village’s Facebook page. He was referring to the state Department of Transportation and the transportation company that owns the railroad tracks that run through the village and past the district’s schools.
Mayor Curran also published a schedule for the work, which is designed to improve the sidewalks along Woodbridge Avenue and along School Road, the route from Woodbridge to the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School (MED) and Chatham High School (CHS) buildings.
The mayor wrote that the tentative work schedule includes excavating the sidewalks over the next three weeks starting October 11. The contractors hope to have the new sidewalks poured and ready by November 22.
Schools Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo wrote on the district’s website that during construction, which will begin with on School Road, the sidewalk will be closed.
“In order to accommodate pedestrian traffic to and from MED and CHS, we will provide a safe pathway around the construction, clearly marked out by snow fence. We will have staff placed along the path in the morning when students arrive and at time of dismissal to make sure students know where to walk,” she writes.
After the School Road sidewalk is complete, work will begin to replace the sidewalk along the Chatham Middle School side of Woodbridge Avenue, from the railroad crossing to the Chatham Public Library.
“This will also necessitate closing portions of that sidewalk for construction. We will provide you with information pertaining to alternate walkways for Woodbridge Avenue closer to when that project begins,” Ms. Nuciforo writes.
The Village Board received a grant to repair the sidewalk in 2009. Village officials have been negotiating with the state about the design of the work and talking with CSX about grade crossing where the tracks intersect Woodbridge Avenue near the intersection with School Road.
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