Governor Steve Beshear today joined community leaders and students at Calloway County Middle School to celebrate the completion of two new safety sidewalk projects. The city of Murray received a combined $339,000 in investment for the projects, aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle access for local students.
"These projects have afforded students the opportunity to walk or bike to school without compromising their safety," Gov. Beshear said. "Students and pedestrians in the city of Murray will greatly benefit from these overdue safety enhancement and energy efficient projects."
The combined funding included a $214,000 Safe Routes to School grant and $125,000 Energy Efficiency Block Grant (EECBG).
The Safe Routes to School project provides a safe pedestrian and bicycle route from North 18th Street to College Farm Road, which connects to the Calloway County Middle School. More than 120 students live within a two-mile radius of the school and can benefit from this sidewalk addition.
The EECBG allowed for construction of sidewalk along a section of North 16th Street providing Murray State University students a way to walk safely to campus rather than be dependent on cars. The project included a pedestrian walking bridge and is located just down the road from the Safe Routes to School project.
"Building this quality, safe pathway will benefit Murray students in several ways," said Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder. "This energy efficiency grant will allow students to cut their fuel costs, improve wellness and it will contribute to reducing Kentucky's carbon footprint."
"Safe sidewalks remind us all of how important our children and students are to us," said Murray Mayor Bill Wells. "Besides a safety issue, it is the "green' thing to do for our future and the health of future generations."
Safe Routes to School projects are designed to encourage students in kindergarten through eighth grade to walk or ride bicycles to school, increasing their exercise and reducing motor vehicle traffic. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet administers the program in the Commonwealth.
The Kentucky EECBG program is administered through DLG and provides $6.25 million to assist local governments in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions; reduce total energy use; and improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building and other appropriate sectors. Additional purposes of the EECBG program include spurring economic growth and the creation and/or retention of jobs under ARRA.