‘Safe Route’ construction begins

MARQUETTE – Work crews this week began clearing the way for new sidewalks that will provide an expanded walking route to Bothwell Middle School.

Employees with Bark River’s U.P. Concrete were cutting into the soil banks along the west side of Altamont Street Thursday, where they will later create a retaining wall as well as a sidewalk.

The new sidewalks – created using funds from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School grant program – will run along the south side of Mesnard Street, between Tierney and Altamont streets. From there, it will course north along the west side of Altamont for about a block. Retaining walls will also be erected along Mesnard.

According to city engineer Keith Whittington, the project should be wrapped up by the end of June and will connect the new sidewalks with the system in other parts of south Marquette.

“The city Public Works Department is going to extend (sidewalks) that other half block up to Jackson Street,” he said. “Jackson Street actually has sidewalks all the way down to U.S. 41.”

The Safe Routes to School grant includes almost $175,000 for infrastructure work and $6,500 for educational and safety materials, as well some walking- and biking-related programming.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is kwhitney@miningjournal.net