ALDOT awards $141K for safer walkways for Calera students

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

CALERA – Calera Intermediate School will have safer sidewalks and crosswalks in the near future, as the Alabama Department of Transportation awarded $141,160 to a local construction company as part of Alabama’s Safe Routes to School program.

ALDOT awarded the bid Aug. 17 to Walker Patton Co., Inc. of Birmingham.

The award will fund the construction of sidewalks, crosswalks and signing on 18th Street, 20th Avenue and Tenth Street in Calera, according to Rebecca Leigh White, an ALDOT spokeswoman.

The Alabama District Federal Highway Administration, which funds the project, has opened the bids for 36 Safe Routes to School programs during the 2012 fiscal year, White said.

The SRTS program encourages and enables more children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade to safely walk and bicycle to school in their community. SRTS helps communities promote the health benefits associated with walking, biking and exercising by providing funding to improve pedestrian conditions around schools, according to a release from ALDOT.

“This whole program is designed to get people outside to exercise, to combat obesity and be healthy,” White said. “And it helps to reduce emissions in the line of parents waiting to pick up their kids up.”

Alabama schools and communities can submit SRTS funding proposals to the Alabama Department of Transportation, the release stated.

Alabama’s SRTS program is supported by the Alabama Departments of Transportation, Education and Public Health. For more information on Safe Routes to Schools, visit Adph.org/srts.