Safe Routes to Schools Project to Begin Soon

By Staff Reports

(Apple Valley)– By the time students are expected to return to school at Mariana Academy, Sandia Academy and Apple Valley High School they will have improved pathways to get there.

On Tuesday, the Apple Valley Town Council awarded Christen Brothers General Engineering a contract to construct bike and pedestrian improvements around all three schools as part of the Town’s Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan. Funding for the nearly $2.9 million award comes from Active Transportation Program funds.

Originally scheduled to take place during the summer months, construction may begin sooner now that Apple Valley Students will be distance learning for the remainder of the school year due to California’s stay at home period.

“Apple Valley Unified School District is taking the opportunity to start the Safe Routes to School project during the school closures so it will be completed well before the school year begins in August,” said Zoee Widener, Apple Valley Unified School District Public Information Officer. “We are thrilled for this collaboration with the Town of Apple Valley to keep our students safe when walking to and from school.”

According to the California Department of Public Health, maintenance and construction of infrastructure is defined as an essential service under the Transportation Systems Sector and Emergency Services Sector allowing the project to proceed during the stay at home period.

The goal of the Safe Routes to School Program is to promote healthy activity by encouraging children to walk and bike to school, thereby reducing the number of children who are driven to school daily in individual cars and reducing vehicle carbon emissions.

Among the improvements planned are new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, sidewalk ramps and high visibility cross walks along Sandia and Manhasset roads; and reconstruction of the Class 1 bike path from Apple Valley High School to Tussing Ranch Road, and along Tussing Ranch Road from Navajo Road to Mendel Park.

For more information on the Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan, call (760) 240-7000, x 7530.

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