Posted at: 01/29/2013 9:47 PM
Updated at: 01/29/2013 10:23 PM
By: Travis Dill
Not every school in Duluth has safe sidewalks leading up to it. School and city officials hope they can get a state grant to fix that.
A $300,000 grant could help make student's walk safer, but planners said communities will be competing for the money.
Students walking to the Lincoln Park Middle School have a steep climb. The brand new school has fresh sidewalks, but City Engineer Greg Stoewer said the neighborhood below needs help.
“The sidewalks have always been focused on the business area down the hill, and we need to help fill in some gaps so they can come up the hill to the new school,” Stoewer said.
He said the city doesn't have money for the project, so he is working with other community leaders to fight for a state grant.
A large number or students walk up the hill every day because they don't live far enough to get bus service.
The grant would allow for additional sidewalks and the repair of damaged walkways.
Duluth has received the Safe Routes to School Grant in the past, but another project planner said it may be hard to come by.
“But they are really competitive. Communities and schools apply from across the state for these so it is a fairly competitive process,” James Gittemeier said.
The group is applying for the money early next month, but they won't hear back until May. For now students will have to watch their step.
The grant requires project applications to be ready for construction by 2014. Planners hope to get the sidewalks finished by the start of the next school year if they do receive the grant.