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New sidewalks ready for back-to-school
New sidewalks ready for back-to-school

DELAWARE - An Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) project to construct new sidewalks in Richwood is complete just in time to usher students back to school. This $125,000 safety investment bridged the gap on Grove Street between the existing residential sidewalks and North Union Elementary School.

"As our kids head back to class, we want to help ensure that they get there safely," said Governor Mike DeWine. "Ohio's Safe Routes to School program helps local communities improve kids' routes between home and school so that walking and biking is safe, convenient, and accessible."  

Of the 356 students enrolled at North Union Elementary School, more than 35 percent of them live within a two mile radius of the school and one in every five students reside less than a mile from the school. 

"To see this project complete in time for a new school year is encouraging," said State Rep. Tracy Richardson. "It's vital to keeping our kids safe and giving parents added peace of mind as we head back to school."  

Sidewalks on Grove St. and Graham St. leading to the school were recently installed as part of ODOT's Safe Routes to School program. According to District Program Coordinator Edie Parker, the Safe Routes to School program invests $4 million annually to provide resources, technical assistance, and project funding to encourage and enable students in kindergarten through eighth grade to walk or ride their bike to school.  

"Creating safe routes to school is only part of the solution. Drivers have to be alert when they are traveling through school zones," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. "By adhering to responsible driving practices, motorists can enhance safety for students walking and bicycling to and from school."