City hopes project will keep students off the road

If the city of Sandy has its way, some new sidewalks are coming to Bluff Road and Hood Street, adjacent to Sandy High School.

The city originally applied for a Community Development Block Grant from Clackamas County in 2005 to construct sidewalks on both Hood Street and Bluff Road adjacent to the high school so students wouldn't have to walk on the road or in the bike lane. But the county decided to fund only the Hood Street portion, arguing that the Bluff Road piece would primarily benefit a population outside the city of Sandy.

After two pedestrian/vehicle accidents occurred in front of the high school last year, the city decided to throw the Bluff Road sidewalks back into the project, hoping that the $37,000 grant would cover both sets of sidewalk.

The city opened bids for the dual project Feb. 15, and the lowest bid estimated that the Hood Street portion alone would cost $34,800; an additional $28,900 would be needed for Bluff Road.

City Public Works Director Mike Walker proposed that the money could come from three sources: 1) There is $9,000 in unspent funds in the street maintenance budget, which comes from gas tax revenue; 2) gas tax revenues are projected to bring in $12,000 more than originally budgeted; and 3) take $10,000 from the general fund and/or ask the Oregon Trail School District to pitch in.

The City Council authorized those fund transfers to build the sidewalks.

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