Students at Hampden Meadows School in Barrington will have a much safer road to walk or bike along by the end of next week.
Workers for Manuel R. Pavao Contractor have been laying concrete sidewalks along Kent Street between Sowams and New Meadow roads and around the school since students went home for the summer a few week ago.
“We expect to finish the work next week,” said Jason Pavao, project manager. “We had an Aug. 13 deadline.”
A subcontractor will then come in and stripe the road for the bike lane, Pavao said.
The new sidewalks and other improvements are being paid for with $174,000 in federal money under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, said Town Planner Phil Hervey.
“No local money at all,” he said.
Kent Street had no sidewalks at all -- only grass and dirt shoulders for kids to walk on before workers began the project. The sidewalk and bike lane will run along the south side of the street.
“We’ve been working on this for three or four years,” said former Hampden Meadows Principal Arlene Miguel when the awarding of the contract was announced several months go. “This is huge for safety and promoting health among children. The bike lane is awesome.”
Hampden Meadows has been pushing kids to ride their bikes to school for some time, she said, and many pupils ride to school already.
New sidewalks also run around the curved parking area in front of the school. The sidewalk that runs perpendicular from New Meadow past the flagpole on the front lawn to the main entrance to the school also is being replaced.
New bike racks also will be purchased for the school, said Hervey, who has been working on this project for several years as well.