KDOT grant for Columbus schools

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The awarding of $13.5 million for 18 projects selected for inclusion in its Transportation Alternatives (TA) program for Federal Fiscal Year 2022-2023 were announced Thursday by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz.

Among those projects winning approval was a $312,000 Kansas Department of Transportation Safe Walk to School Grant for Columbus.

The purpose of this Safe Route to School Master Plan is to identify the obstacles that discourage or prohibit students from walking or biking to school. This plan has become much more important for the safety of children since the Columbus USD 493 students living in the city of Columbus are no longer being bused due to COVID19 distancing requirements.

With a total cost of $656,450 to complete the project, the city would be required to pay 20-percent or about $131,290 in matching funds.

The project will designate safe routes to school and implement infrastructure improvements to provide safer and betterconnected pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Sidewalk and ADA compliant accessible curb ramp improvements will be necessary along the following locations: •North side of

•North side of Country Road (High School Ave to Kansas Ave): 5-foot sidewalk. •South side of Maple Street (Tennessee Ave to US-69): 5-foot sidewalk. •Maple Street Crosswalks: Install accessible pedestrian signal system at US-69,

•Remove beacon and crosswalk at Illinois Ave, Install crosswalk at Maple St/Ohio Ave. •High School Ave. and

Country Rd Intersection: Crosswalk accessibility and conspicuity improvements to decrease pedestrian exposure length.

•Country Road and Vermont Ave: crosswalk improvements with accessibility improvements and removal of driveway-pedestrian conflict.

•High School Ave/ Central St: sidewalk extension and parking lot modifications for pedestrian accessibility and safety improvements.

•Central St. at Vermont Ave: crosswalk improvements and curb realignment to delineate the driving lanes, reduce crosswalk length, and provide safer pedestrian crossing.

•Signing and Markings: Perform a school zone signing plan to replace non-compliant signs and add/improve signs at all school zones. Install high-visibility (KDOT Type 2)

he work would be the city implementing a high visibility crosswalk marking scheme where major streets cross safe routes to school paths including Central Street at High School Avenue, Central Street at Vermont Avenue as the east leg of the project. The west leg of the project would be Country Road at High School Avenue and Country Road at Vermont Avenue. The north leg will be Country Road at Kansas Avenue.

“The projects we announced today will help our communities make the kinds of improvements that will ensure that Kansas remains the best state in the nation to work, live, and raise a family,” Governor Kelly said. “These are projects that make it safer for children to walk and bike to school, they will add sidewalks for Kansans to walk, bike or use a wheelchair, and they continue to build on our efforts to improve access to our state’s many outdoor recreational opportunities.”

The Transportation Alternatives Program funds projects focused almost entirely on planning for and building infrastructure for safe, accessible and connected pedestrian and cycling networks. Becoming a more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly state is a top priority for Governor Kelly, KDOT and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.