Fed funding to help Fairmount and Cornerstone with ‘Safe Routes’

Posted 5/22/18

The Fairmount student sidewalk project is designed to compliment a state and federally funded project that will also benefit area students. The West 50th Avenue sidewalk project stretches from …

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Fed funding to help Fairmount and Cornerstone with ‘Safe Routes’

Posted

The Fairmount student sidewalk project is designed to compliment a state and federally funded project that will also benefit area students.

The West 50th Avenue sidewalk project stretches from McIntyre Street to Easley Road, about 4,000 linear feet. The area is located in unincorporated Jefferson County with a Golden postal address. Two schools are served in this stretch of road — Fairmount Elementary School, 15975 W. 50th Ave., and Cornerstone Montessori School, 15970 W. 50th Ave.

The project, part of the state and federal Safe Routes to School program, has been divided into three phases. Phase I consists of about 900 feet, from McIntyre Street to Fairmount. Phase II is from Fairmount to Quaker Street and Phase III is from Quaker Street to Easley Road. Phases I and II total about a half a mile.

To help fund the project, Fairmount Elementary School and Jefferson County partnered in the fall of 2016, to apply for a Colorado Safe Routes to School Grant, which is administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

“We look at opportunities where there is a high probability for students to walk or bike to school. We’re trying to encourage active transportation,” said Leslie Feuerborn, program manager for Colorado Safe Routes to School. “Lots of students here (Fairmount Elementary) are well within walking or biking distance to school, but there’s currently no safe way for them to do that.”

In spring 2017, the county was awarded a $265,053 Safe Routes to School Grant for Phase I of the project. This covers 80 percent of the cost and the county is matching 20 percent, or $66,263. Total cost is $331,316, which will fund the sidewalk itself — an eight-foot multi-use path — a pushbutton crosswalk and a storm sewer.

Construction is expected to begin in the summer or fall 2019.

Separately, the Jeffco Public School district is funding a portion of sidewalk on school property going north from 50th Avenue on the west side of the school driveway.

Phases II and III are not funded yet, but the school community is hopeful to receive future grants to complete the project.

“I worry everyday about students who bike or walk because I know the road is too narrow,” said Fairmount Principal Sally Mills. “Having the sidewalk will mean that our kids can safely get to and from school, and the complete sidewalk will also make a difference for our kids to get to parks and bike trails when they are not at school. Overall, the sidewalk will just make for a better, safer neighborhood.”

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