Cenla welcomes new, improved sidewalks

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - New and improved sidewalks are officially here in Central Louisiana.

Photo Source: KALB

Sidewalks have either been installed or improved around Rapides Parish schools like Bolton High, Cherokee Elementary and others.

The ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ program is a $400,000 federal grant given to the Rapides Parish School Board and the Rapides Area Planning Commission in order to improve sidewalks.

Since the launch of the project, the name has been changed to ‘Safe Routes to Public Places’ because the city is working on adding and improving sidewalks to the downtown area as well.

City of Alexandria Engineer Michael Wilkinson says it’s all about making the city more appealing and safer for pedestrians.

"If you're handicapped, it makes it a lot safer for them to traverse. You know these sidewalks are nice, wider five-foot instead of three-foot, which is the old standard. And, really it's just providing a pedestrian point of travel rather than a roadway,” said Wilkinson.

The city has started the downtown sidewalk project with sidewalk improvements around CLTCC.

Wilkinson says the city will conduct a downtown study to figure out which areas need sidewalks the most and where sidewalks need improvements.

He expects the study to officially begin next month.

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