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Schools wait on sidewalk projects
It has been four years since the Georgia Department of Transportation awarded the Glynn County School system $250,000 in infrastructure improvement grants to install crosswalks and sidewalks around five schools.

But the sidewalks have still not been built, as project details continue to be hammered out by federal government decision-makers.

It is a point of frustration for the school system's director of operations, Al Boudreau, who wants to make routes to school safer for walkers.

"We really don't have a thing to do now but sit back and wait," he said.

The Department of Transportation gave the grant money as credits for construction work through the national Safe Routes to School program.

The program is a joint effort by local, state and federal governments to create safer pedestrian routes for students.

The money is intended for crosswalk and sidewalk improvements in areas students use to get to Burroughs-Molette Elementary, Altama Elementary, Oglethorpe Point Elementary, Goodyear Elementary and Golden Isles Elementary.

The first hold-up was a change of plans in which crosswalk alert lights on the ground were traded for signs with blinking lights to notify drivers of the paths.

Boudreau said the only things now stalling the projects are environmental impact studies requested by the federal government.

The grant does not expire.

"We do know the money is not going away, which is good," Boudreau said. "We will survive until then."

Boudreau said he hopes to see crosswalks with blinking signs being installed as early as next year.

Joan Boorman, director of grants for the school system, said the grant called for the work to be completed in 2010 by workers contracted through the Department of Transportation.

"But 2010 came and went, and we are still waiting," Boorman said.

To receive the grant, the school system is supposed to encourage more students to walk to school, she said.

"We are supposed to educate and motivate. The DOT is supposed to build. That was the deal," Boorman said.



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