Local News

Monday, Jun 09 2014 07:29 PM

Council awards Safe Routes to School project bid

Tompkins area to be improved

In a move to complete a gap and pave the way for safer access to and from schools, Tehachapi will move forward with a construction project later in June around Tompkins Elementary.

The City Council in a 3-0 vote at its June 2 meeting awarded a $291,914 bid to D.O.D. Construction for $291,914 to improve pedestrian conditions on the west side of Curry Street, north and south of the Curry-Pinon Street intersection.

Council members Ed Grimes and Mary Lou Zamudio were both absent.

According to City Engineer Jay Schlosser, D.O.D came out on top of three other companies, all of whom fell with in acceptable low bids for the project. The other companies were Griffith Company, Golden Valley Construction and Cooley Construction.

The city received a total of $405,000 for the project from CalTrans. The city's match for the project is $45,000, for a total spending amount of $450,000. According to Schlosser, $100,000 will go toward design of the project.

The project includes curb, gutter, and sidewalk improvements, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps, decorative cross walks and minor asphalt concrete pavement improvements.

"We are ready to get started and we want to get started quickly," Schlosser told the council. "We want to get as much done as possible before kids get back to school (in August)."

He added that the city is still in communication with Tompkins Elementary over improving an area east of Pinon to better facilitate passenger unloading and loading.

"From a traffic safety stand point, those two projects talk to each other," Schlosser said.

Mayor Pro-tem Susan Wiggins noted the significance of the program, especially for the communities around Tompkins Elementary.

"This is the greatest thing in the world," Wiggins said. "Mary Ann Hester, who works with the volunteer citizen patrol, told me she clocked someone going through that area at 65 mph. All of these improvements will make it wonderful ... and so much safer."

On June 3, Schlosser said that the project will benefit the school and the surrounding neighborhoods by providing a safer pedestrian route.

"There are quite a few residential areas that have families and children around Tompkins," Schlosser said by phone. "When we look at the project, we also look at the ways that families send their children to school."

The school district has helped and has been kept informed, Schlosser said.

"We will come to them with ideas and they will offer feedback and additions from their stand point," Schlosser said. "Their express support is practical."

This is the second state-funded Safe Routes to School project during Schlosser's tenure with the city.

"It's a very successful program," he said.

As the project gets closer to breaking ground, he said the city will notify residents of construction hours and possible traffic delays.

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