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Safe Routes to School construction gets under way on Curry Street


Tom Stankard/Daily Globe

MERRICK COPONEN, of Ruotsala Concrete Construction, operates a mini excavator on Thursday to remove debris from the future site of sidewalks on Curry Street as part of Ironwood's Safe Routes to School project.

IRONWOOD - Construction of Ironwood's Safe Routes to School project has begun on Curry Street.

Ironwood City Manager Scott Erickson said sidewalks will be improved and new sidewalks will be installed in an effort to improve students' safety.

"The goal of Safe Routes is to increase pedestrian safety around Luther L. Wright," he said.

Lake and Park streets are also part of the project.

Erickson said the walking route will connect streets, spurs of trails and the Gateway Trail to Luther L. Wright K-12 School.

According to Erickson, there will also be new signs and crosswalks installed. Erickson said construction is scheduled to be completed by September.

Project manager Ian Shackleford said routes for the students to walk and bike were mapped using a survey coordinated by a Safe Routes team and state officials. The Safe Routes team includes representatives from the Ironwood Area School District, city of Ironwood, city parks and recreation committee, Ironwood Parent-Teacher Organization and Coleman Engineering.

Together, they surveyed parents and students and observed students going to and from school for more than a year.

Started in 2014, Ironwood's Safe Routes to School effort is a Michigan Department of Transportation-funded project worth $386,614.

The program is run by the Michigan Fitness Foundation. According to Shackleford, the MFF played a big role in obtaining the grant.


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