The town of Olathe recently received a large grant for a walkway expansion project.
Olathe got nearly $226,000 through the federal Transportation Alternative Program. The Colorado Department of Transportation distributes the funds to communities.
"The scope of the project is to provide additional walkway for a section of town that has a high volume of pedestrian traffic," Patty Gabriel, Olathe’s town administrator, said. "And, it would connect our Olathe Middle & High School with our Olathe Elementary School."
Gabriel said the town wants to improve a section of U.S. 50, called the business loop, that runs through the heart of Olathe.
She said right now there is no sidewalk on a section of that road and calls it a safety concern.
"When it rains [or] when it snows a lot of times the school-aged children will instead of walking in the mud or the ice they’ll walk in the middle of the road," she said.
Gabriel said kids have been hit in this area and that’s why this expansion project is a priority for the town.
"It will consist of a pedestrian walkway [and] addition crossings that would cross that highway business loop," she said. "It will include a bus stop and it will include sidewalk, curb and gutter, that currently is not existent, leading up to the elementary."
Olathe also plans to resurface 3rd Street as part of the project.
Gabriel said the grant will cover a majority of the cost of the expansion.
The town is hoping to have it complete by spring 2016.