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$200K State Grant To Fund New Sidewalks Near West-Side School

crummy sidewalks
City of Bloomington
These photos of existing sidewalks in the area were submitted with the Sheridan Elementary Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant application.

Students at Sheridan Elementary in Bloomington will soon have a safer route to school thanks to a $200,000 state grant that will fund new sidewalks.

The grant, which does not require a local match, will be used exclusively for construction of public sidewalk around Sheridan Elementary School on Bloomington’s west side. It’s expected to be completed in 2020.

Officials say the new sidewalk will also improve access, safety, and accessibility at three nearby parks: O’Neil, White Oak, and Evergreen.

“This grant was truly a collaborative effort between District 87 and the City of Bloomington, and we are so thankful for their help,” City of Bloomington Director of Public Works Jim Karch said in a statement. “It will make a positive difference for Sheridan schoolchildren and others using the sidewalks in this area.”

The Sheridan project was one of 39 winners chosen from 168 total Safe Routes to School grant applications. Together those 39 projects will receive $5.5 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"We are extremely grateful for the strong partnership with the city and their commitment to helping our schools,” District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said in a statement. “This is a great win for the community!”

Also receiving Safe Routes to School funding is the Friends of Constitution Trail. It will use $27,729 to engage students at local schools through education, sponsorship of a bicycle rodeo, personal safety skills, and a community training workshop, according to IDOT.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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