Santaquin City will receive $588,000 in federal funding this summer to install sidewalks along 300 West, providing Santaquin Elementary School students a safer route as they walk to school.
The funding was obtained from the Federal Safe Routes to School program, which is administered through the Utah Department of Transportation.
“Every year the state is allocated funding from the federal government. Applications are received from all over the state,” said Santaquin Community Development Director Dennis Marker. “We applied along with many other municipalities and school districts. UDOT determined our need was warranted and allocated the funds.”
More than half of the students attending Santaquin Elementary School walk from Main Street along 300 West to 560 North, Marker said. About 10 years ago, the city council wanted to start creating a safer walking route for the students, and the city has been trying to have a proactive approach to the problem before an accident happened.
“It started with a single white stripe to create a four-foot-wide walking path. Then it went to a double white stripe. The problem is complicated by part of the route being a single-lane, one-way road. We want to create separation between the students and the vehicles,” Marker said.
City Engineer Norm Beagley said the city wants to keep the students safe by getting them off the asphalt and the same level as oncoming vehicles. The sidewalk will provide an elevation change and include curb and gutter. There is also a plan to include a landscape barrier behind the curb. “This way, a car will have to run over the curb to get to the sidewalk,” Beagley said. “We want to encourage and facilitate more students to walk to school by making them feel safe.”
Beagley said the city still needs contracts from the state to start the project. The funding won’t arrive until July. The project will be designed locally depending on contract limitations. Once the funding arrives, the project is expected take nine to 12 months of design and construction to complete.
“We have already started the survey work in preparation for the sidewalk,” Marker said.
Sidewalks will be built 300 West in Santaquin thanks to $588,000 in federal funding that will be allocated to the city in July. The project will make the route safer for children walking to Santaquin Elementary School.