City benefits from ODOT grant money

May 20, 2013 01:42 pm

ELGIN — In a recent special session of the city council, councilors gave the green light to move forward with a $495,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation as part of the Safe Routes to School program.



The program promotes safe commutes to school and greater exercise for children.

ODOT has contracted with two engineering firms to supervise and manage the project, Anderson Perry and Associates of La Grande and Harper, Houf, Peterson and Righellis, Inc. of Portland. The ODOT project manager is engineer Liesl Stevens.

“Anderson and Perry recently finished surveying the project area, and we’re just in the beginning stages of the design work now. The preliminary design will be due next fall,” Stevens said.

The work is slated to begin in 2014 and must be finished by 2015 according to the terms of the grant.

“We will advertise next March for bids from contractors,” said Elgin Administrator-Recorder Terrie Richards.

The scope of the project includes 1-1/2 blocks on Baltimore Street from 12th Avenue to the railroad tracks and six blocks on 10th Avenue from Division to Hartford, funds permitting. This will finally create sidewalks around the entire perimeter of the school and provide a safer walking and bicycling route on 10th Avenue, one of the heaviest traveled corridors to school.

For Elgin, this is its second award from ODOT in recent years for the Safe Routes to School sidewalk construction. 

Out of 10 Oregon cities who won grant awards, Elgin received the most funds.

“They granted more than we applied for,” said Dan Larman, Elgin Public Works director. “This will be the last 100 percent-funded grant for Safe Routes to School. ODOT will start around the school and go as far as the money will carry it.”