KATIE LANIER, a teacher at Step by Step daycare center, leads just a small portion of the students that walk to and from Reed-Custer Intermediate School down W. Kennedy Rd. each and every day. Walking students (shown from left to right): Ashlee Fazeks, fourth grade; Mya Beard, second grade; Nicholas Cieslak, third grade; Brooklyn Harding, third grade; and Zachary Cieslak, third grade.
by Tonya Michalec Staff writer
One year after being approved for a grant to make travel to school a little safer in Braidwood, the city is preparing to apply for a second grant to cover the expansive sidewalk project's full cost.
Last week, prior to the City Council's regularly scheduled meeting, deputy clerk Mary Beth Pressley and Joe Regis, vice president of Robert E. Hamilton Consulting Engineers, held a public meeting announcing the city's intent to apply for an Illinois State Department of Transportation (IDOT) grant. The city is requesting $200,000.
"The response can take up to one year, but the city is hopeful to begin the project sometime this year," said Pressley.
The 2013 IDOT grant is essential to cover the cost of extending the sidewalk by four blocks on West Kennedy Road, from South Kenard to South Hickory Street, and by one block from South Division to South Office Street along West Eureka Street.
The proposed work includes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements on all of the sidewalks to be constructed, and also on the existing sidewalk along West Kennedy between South Kenard and South School streets. In order to remain compliant with the grant program, according to the ADA, all curb ramps constructed and/or altered after Jan. 26, 1991 must include detectable warnings. The detectable warnings are a series of dome-shaped bumps that should cover the entire width and depth of the ramp run. The raised warnings are designed to be felt underfoot or with a cane by people who are blind or have low vision, thereby alerting them of hazards - mainly, the transition from a pedestrian-only area to a roadway.
According to Regis, the engineering firm is currently in phase one of the project that consists of clearing the projected area's cultural resources and giving the biological clearance to make sure there are no endangered species that could be affected, both of which are requirements of the IDOT grant.
"Once we get biological clearance we can move to phase two, formulating a plan and reviewing bids by contractors, then we can proceed to phase three which is accepting a bid and beginning construction," Regis explained.
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