Crossing guard Ruth Bell stops traffic Friday at the corner of Colorado Highway 13 and E. Ninth St. near Craig Middle School. Next year the City of Craig will put more than $180,000 in Safe Routes to School grant money to construct sidewalks near the CMS and Sandrock Elementary School campuses.

Photo by Joe Moylan

Crossing guard Ruth Bell stops traffic Friday at the corner of Colorado Highway 13 and E. Ninth St. near Craig Middle School. Next year the City of Craig will put more than $180,000 in Safe Routes to School grant money to construct sidewalks near the CMS and Sandrock Elementary School campuses.

School routes, safe routes

City wins grant for sidewalks near CMS, Sandrock Elementary

It’s not uncommon to see school children walking in the street or along Colorado Highway 13 during their daily commute to Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary.

But those days are officially numbered.

On Tuesday Craig City Manager Jim Ferree announced to the Craig City Council its Safe Routes to School grant application had been accepted.

Safe Routes to School provides federal money for improvement projects in and around schools. The 100 percent reimbursable grant is funneled through the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The Moffat County School District wrote the grant, Ferree said, but it was submitted by the city because only political subdivisions of the state — cities and counties — are eligible to apply.

Not only was the grant awarded, but the city and the school district received the full amount it requested, $188,905.

The money will be used to construct sidewalks in the vicinity of CMS and Sandrock Elementary including alongside sections of Breeze, Russell, Tucker, Rose, East Ninth and East Tenth Streets.

The city also plans to build a sidewalk and a barrier fence along Colorado Highway 13 on the west side of CMS.

Currently children are walking on a dirt path just off the roadway, Ferree said.

Though the plan is to build sidewalks on all of the streets named above, Ferree said he wouldn’t know how far the grant money would go until the city begins to bid the project.

In the meantime the city has hired Drexel, Barrell & Co., an engineering consulting firm based in Boulder with offices in Steamboat Springs, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs, to prepare the conceptual design drawings.

“The company has completed Safe Routes to School projects in Hayden, Steamboat Springs and Erie,” Ferree said. “They’ve worked with CDOT before, know how to navigate through the red tape and they’ve done some relevant work. That’s why they were selected.”

Ferree said he expects to receive draft drawings next week and hopes to begin the project sometime next summer.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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