Concerns about the safety of students walking from Scotland High School to residential areas via West Church Street has the Laurinburg City Council mulling over a three-phase project that has a price tag of more than $200,000.
Based on estimates presented to council this week, it would cost approximately $218,515 to add sidewalks to the section of Church Street extending from the Wilco Hess store to the city limits marker.
The estimate included about $30,000 in grant funding which city officials expect to be available should council decide to proceed with the project.
“(Students) are walking home from school on that road more and more, so this sidewalk would be mostly a safety thing,” Councilwoman Mary Jo Adams said.
According to Adams, she has been assured by officials with Scotland County Schools that the school system would take the sidewalk all the way to the high school’s entrance if the city moves forward with the project.
Councilman Curtis Leak said that any sidewalk project on West Church Street should include funding from the school system.
“They need to spend some money (on this project),” Leak said. “Their budget is bigger than ours.”
If a sidewalk is completed, the North Carolina Department of Transportation would install a crosswalk from the high school entrance to the Wilco Hess service station.
The project is expected to occur in three phases, starting with adding sidewalk to the section of road running from the Wilco Hess store to Forest Road. This could be done at a total cost of $10,650, according to the estimate created by city public works officials.
Phase two of the proposal would see sidewalks added to the area extending from Forest Road to Bundy Lane. This section would be considerably more expensive because it would require the addition of curb and gutter to the stretch of road in question. Curbs and gutters are already in place along the stretch of road mentioned in the first phase.
It would cost approximately $52,195 to install sidewalks along the phase two section of Church Street, including curb and gutter requirements.
In the proposal, phase three would include the portion of W. Church Street extending from Bundy Lane to Turnpike Road. This section would also require curb and gutter installation and would cost about $155,670. According to the city’s preliminary plan, “the storm drainage estimates” for this phase could be “significantly higher” due to “uncertainty of requirements.”
Concerned that the city’s focus on installing sidewalks had become too narrow, Councilman Kenton Spencer said that he would like to see “certain key areas of commerce” also included in future estimates.
There are also safety concerns about the area extending from Carolina Park to the Laurinburg Wal Mart, said Councilman Drew Williamson.
“Someone is going to get killed there,” Williamson said.