WALKER - Leaders in Walker are on a mission to have more sidewalks, and grant money from the state is making that a reality.
Walker is already in phase three of its sidewalk project to create safer routes to and from schools. The third phase will cost $684,000 and will go out for bids in January. Most of the money comes from a Department of Transportation and Development grant where Walker will only need to pay about $100,000 for the improvements.
It's a similar process that created sidewalks along Burgess Avenue near four schools. Phase three will connect sidewalks along Highway 447 to new sidewalks that will be built on Ball Park Road. The city also plans to rehabilitate existing sidewalks in the area to give people a safe route from the schools all the way to Sidney Hutchinson Park, according to Walker Mayor Rick Ramsey.
"A lot of the subdivisions that were built in this area were not required to have sidewalks. The kids are kind of bound to their yards, and it's very difficult," he said. "So it is frustrating, and getting the sidewalk system will hopefully continue this project in linking the city in a loop and make a big difference for us."
Ramsey says the city has applied for additional grants to create sidewalks down North Palmetto Street to Florida Boulevard all the way to Peak Lane. If the money comes through that work is expected to begin sometime in 2017.