Students will have a new way to travel to and from schools, and their homes, as an improved walkway has now been approved by the City of Tehachapi.

New sidewalks are planned to be installed on Anita Drive, Dennison Road, Curry Street and Valley Boulevard as part of an effort to improve safety and accessibility of transportation for students, said Jay Schlosser, development services director for the City of Tehachapi.

The sidewalk construction is planned for one side of each street.

In the past, some students have had to walk over private property to access adjacent schools, or would walk on the road where no sidewalks were yet constructed.

The City of Tehachapi looked at schools that were relatively close together such as Tompkins Elementary, Jacobsen Middle School, Monroe High School and Tehachapi High School and planned improvements to give students more options for a safer route.

This funding has come from a "grant we received to close gaps between our schools and the associated neighborhoods that those schools serve… and a particular funding source called Active Transportation and is specifically to fund non-transportation options," said Schlosser.

New sidewalks are planned to be built and finished by Griffith Company by the initial November deadline. The winning bid to complete this project totals $635,362.87 out of four other bids.

City Manager Greg Garrett said the improvements to fix the gaps will be, "very helpful with pedestrian and community safety and it adds value to our community."

The city is also in the process of sending out legal agreements to seven property owners in case that private property needs to be accessed. This may call also for other improvements if the city deems it necessary.

The City of Tehachapi City Council agenda for May 15 said, "For instance, when new sidewalk is to be constructed where an existing driveway is located, a portion of the driveway may need to be reconstructed to match the proposed grades."