Township officials say they have acquired a grant from the Ohio Department of Education that will enable them to develop a Safe Route To School program for students.
''A significant number of students come from the area of Fifth Avenue and Overbrook,'' said township administrator Pat Ungaro.
Working with school officials, MS Consultants and the Ohio Department of Transportation, which funded the $490,000 grant for the first phase of the project, officials passed a resolution last month to begin construction.
Under the first phase, sidewalks will be extended from Shady Road at the library on the north side of state Route 304 to the township administration building. This walkway will be approximately 3,200 feet.
In addition, a new pedestrian crossing signal will be installed at the Shady Road traffic light to enable walkers to cross state Route 30, and a new 850-foot sidewalk will be installed on Fifth Avenue Extension from state Route 304 north to the existing walk at Overbrook.
This is the second state grant the township has acquired from the ODOT. Last year, an enhancement grant from ODOT enabled the township to complete work on Shady Road to the school, as well as Murray Hill and Liberty Street. Four LED lights were placed on the Shady Road bridge, and drive approaches to the schools were renovated.
ODOT provided 80 percent of the cost of the enhancement project with the rest funded by the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council through the gas and electric aggregation, said township trustee Jodi Stoyak.
''No money is coming out of the general fund for these projects,'' Stoyak said.
Trustees expect to submit another grant application for Phase II of the project, Stoyak said. The $500,000 grant will include construction of a sidewalk on the north side of Murray Hill Drive from Shady Road east to Sampson Drive, and construction of as much sidewalk as possible on Samson toward state Route 304.
The Safe Routes To School project began last summer, Ungaro said. Township officials met with the schools' principals, superintendent and bus supervisor to discuss the project, he said.
The next regular meeting of the township trustees will be at 11:30 a.m. March 4.
Later this spring, the township will place a flag pole with lights at the Interstate 80 intersection on Belmont Avenue. Trumbull 100 donated $6,000 toward that project, Ungaro said.