Sidewalk project makes it safe for kids to walk to school

Imperial Valley

Sidewalk project makes it safe for kids to walk to school

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HOLTVILLE, CA (13 On Your Side) - Kids in Holtville who have been forced to walk along the shoulder of State Route 115 will soon a safer way to get to school.

The city will start constructing missing sidewalks making it a lot easier for kids. 

Holtville residents say they're relieved. Starting next school year their kids will be able to walk to school safely. 

The city's sidewalk improvement project, also known as "Safe Routes to School Program," has been in the works for almost two years now.   

According to city manager, Alexander Meyerhoff, the project came about after parents from Finley Elementary School started complaining. 

The project also includes intersection and drainage improvements - and painting the streets to clearly mark the lanes. 

Right now - there are two schools within a block of State Route 115. 

Half of the combines 900 students walk to school every single day. 

Victor Gastelum, who's 13-year-old son walks to school, says drivers often drive faster than 35 miles per hour speed limit. 

"I walk through there every day. I'm disabled and its bad in the morning. But anytime it's bad. Semis that come from the east to the west sometimes go 60 to 65 miles per hour."

Meyerhoff says painting street lines will also help slow down drivers traveling along the highway. 

"This is the last city in Holtville that is unimproved with sidewalk along the highway, SR 115. So our goal is to improve the sidewalk and put in new crosswalk and do new striping and provide a safe means of egress for the students  on their way to school."

The sidewalk project will cost about half a million dollars. The city got the grant money from several transportation agencies. 

Pavement will begin next week on 5th Street, between Union and Grape Avenues. 

The project is expected to be completed by the time school starts in September.