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New sidewalk, trail coming to Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) –  Students who walk to school in Lawrence, cyclists and runners will now have a safer route to take.

Mayor Dean Jessup announced on Wednesday that a sidewalk – which has been on the drawing table for 16 years – will finally be installed on the north side of 56th Street between Boy Scout Road and Franklin Road.

Students who walk or cycle to Lawrence Central High School and Belzer Middle School will benefit from the sidewalk installation.

The mayor also announced a trail connecting Sunnyside and Oaklandon roads will be built. It won’t be far from Amy Beverland Elementary School. Back in the 1990s, an extension of 79th Street was proposed in the same area, but neighbors strongly opposed construction and the city set it aside.

Mayor Jessup says $3.9 million awarded to the city in 1999 will be used to build the sidewalk and trail. The mayor asked that his staff review records about past grants and they found Lawrence was awarded two grants by the Federal Highway Administration 16 years ago. The mayor’s office then contacted INDOT and requested the funds be released so the projects could go forward.

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At least two public hearings will be held on each project so neighbors may voice their opinions. If the projects proceed, preliminary work could begin this year, with construction starting in 2016

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