The City of Hattiesburg is being presented two checks totaling $500,000 to help provide safer walking and bicycling routes.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation is helping fund two city projects aimed to help keep children safer while riding their bikes and walking. The Transportation Alternatives Project is receiving a check for $304,648 for improvements to routes along Tuscan Avenue near William Carey. The second check is for the Safe Routes to Schools project for $198,500, and will improve pedestrian and bicycle access to Hawkins Elementary School.
"It's a great program, it encourages children to walk to school, bike to school, and it keeps them off the streets, from a certain distance, says Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King. "We will have so many lineal feet of school from the school that will tie it off from your major arteries around here it makes it much more safer. "
Mayor Johnny DuPree adds, "with the Safe Routes to School, again being able to have those young people come to school safely.. you know.. you can't bus if you live within a mile of the school… so if you have to walk, we want to make sure you have a safe route to the school. And so we have these eight foot wide sidewalks we're doing."
King expects construction to begin sometime this summer.