Area raises safety concerns for students walking to and from Jefferson City elementary school

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Jefferson City Council is set to vote Monday on a bill aimed to improve an area that has raised some safety concerns for students walking to and from school.

Just about a block away from South Elementary School, there is no sidewalk on the east side of the 900 block of Broadway Street. 

The stretch without a sidewalk also falls on a steep hill, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians.

"There happens to be a sharp curve there and kind of a crest of a hill," Public Works Director Matt Morasch said. "And so you can't always control, especially where kids are crossing. And they may not realize hey, this is a hill. So you know it is good to fill in those blocks when we can get funds available."

The bill is for a more than $130,000 contract with Concrete Solution- LLC- to fill in the gap and connect pedestrians to a safer crosswalk right in front of the school.

The project would be funded through Community Development Block Grant funding the city receives each year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"The city, when it was developed, didn't have a sidewalk ordinance that would require developers to put sidewalks on both sides of the street," Morasch said. "So we've been going around, especially in the older areas of town, adding sidewalks over time. And it just takes time to get all the gaps filled back in."

If the bill is approved by City Council, Public Works said it hopes to get the project started shortly afterward to be able to finish in time for the coming school year. The work is expected to take a couple of months to complete.

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