New sidewalks to offer comfort, safety for walkers

Published 9:20 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Several weeks and more than $400,000 later, Presley Street walkers and joggers will have a smooth route to travel.

Workers have been busy for several weeks laying foundations and pouring tons and tons of cement to create new sidewalks that extend down the west side of Presley Street from an area near Escambia County High School north to School Street.

Atmore Mayor Howard Shell said the funds were made possible through a transportation enhancement project grant administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The grant awarded funds to the tune of more than $468,000 to the city to help construct the new sidewalks.

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“We received the grant to use for the construction of sidewalks throughout the city,” Shell said. “We will put down new sidewalks until the money runs out. We’ll turn around then and apply for more grants to continue to improve the city.”

The sidewalks currently being constructed are part of an effort to improve the accessibility to local residents to the area, Shell said.

“We will be continuing projects throughout town and having sidewalks placed in critical areas,” Shell said. “This will make the city more user friendly allowing people to be able to walk to different areas of the city safely.”

Shell said the construction of the sidewalks will help improve the city’s attraction to visitors and local residents and will be a boost to Atmore’s quality of life.

“Anytime you improve amenities in a city it helps to attract visitors and use by residents,” Shell said. “We hope to continue this type of construction in the city to continue improving the quality of life here.”

The grant awarded allowed for $468,338 in funds to be used to upgrade existing sidewalks and construct new ones. The award is similar to a recent grant awarded in Brewton for sidewalk construction.

“We will be using every penny of the money we were awarded,” Shell said. “We won’t have to give anything back to the funding authority. As a matter of fact, as soon as we finish these projects and use up the funds, we will apply for more grants to continue to improve the city.”

The current grant is one of several grants awarded to the city in the last five years to help with sidewalk repair and additions.

Although the completion date is not specific, Shell said the work is expected to be completed in the coming weeks with work moving to the Ashley Street area soon.

Construction of the sidewalks is being completed by a Mobile County contractor, Shell said.

Workers continue construction of a new sidewalk along Presley Street from ECHS to School Street.|Photo by Lisa Tindell