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WRGT-TV FOX 45 News :: News - Top Stories - FOLLOW UP: ODOT Responds to Three Year Wait for School Sidewalks
Thursday, January 31 2013, 07:34 AM EST
FOLLOW UP: ODOT Responds to Three Year Wait for School Sidewalks
WEST MILTON -- We want kids to be safe in schools but what about getting to school? We told you last night about a project in Milton Union to bring sidewalks to a community where kids are forced to walk in the streets, but the state says the project takes more than two years. Parents say that's not good enough, since there are no sidewalks going towards the school.

"Yeah it's a big safety issue," said Richard Berry of West Milton.

Milton Union students have to walk in the mud, grass or possibly in the street. In 2011, the school board applied for new sidewalks for their new school. The money was nearly immediately granted, but they won't get the sidewalks until next spring.

"Three years is a long time to wait," said Dan Arnold of West Milton.

Parents say that is too long. So we drove to Columbus to ask The Ohio Department of Transportation: What is the hold up?

"What we do for the sidewalk in this school takes just as many steps as building a major highway in downtown Dayton," said Steve Faulkner of ODOT.

Twenty-nine steps to be exact (SEE BELOW). Once a project is approved, no matter how big or small, ODOT says they have to follow these guidelines set by the federal government. The whole process takes about two years.

"Going in and surveying the area, looking at the environmental aspects of the build, looking at designing and there is a right of way aspect too," said Faulkner. "When you're going into someone's house to build that takes some discussion back and forth about that process."

We showed the list to residents in West Milton.

"It looks like it's overkill because I have to revise it and then that is revised again," said Arnold. "That's a lot of red tape for a project that can be done in a week or two."

We asked ODOT the obvious question: Is this is really necessary.

"My opinion doesn't matter," said Faulkner. "It is unique, unfortunately, when building a sidewalk for kids to get to school safe for that there is so much federal red tape. We are using federal money and when that happens you get a lot of strings attached to that."

The Safe Route to School grant is funding this $300,000 project.

We also reached out to state representatives for West Milton. They agree it's ridiculous to wait three years for a new sidewalk, but say they have to follow protocol with federally funded programs. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner is the Congressman for Miami County. If you would like to reach out to him to request a shorter time-frame for smaller projects you can call him at 513-779-5400.

ID Task Name Duration
1 Project Initiation 2 wks
2 Preliminary Activities 15.8 wks
3 Field Survey and Mapping 4 wks
4 Establish Worst Case Const. Limits 3.8 wks
5 Geotechnical Investigation (if authorized) 8 wks
6 Stage 1 Design 19 wks
7 Stage 1 Design 13 wks
8 Submit Stage 1 Design 0 wks
9 Review Stage 1 Submittal (ODOT) 4 wks
10 Revise, Resubmit, & Add'l Review 2 wks
11 Stage 1 Submittal Approved 0 wks
12 Environmental Document (by ODOT D7) 32 wks
13 Environmental Document 32 wks
14 Right of Way 55 wks
15 Draft Prelim. R/W Plans 2 wks
16 Review Prelim. R/W Plans (ODOT) 4 wks
17 Final R/W Plans 1 wk
18 R/W Plans Approved 1 wk
19 R/W Clearance 47 wks
20 Stage 3 Design 17 wks
21 Quantities and Notes 6 wks
22 Misc Stage 3 Details/Tasks 6 wks
23 Update Cost Opinions 2 wks
24 Compile Stage 3 Documents & QA/QC 4 wks
25 Submit Stage 3 Package 0 wks
26 Review Stage 3 Submittal (ODOT) 4 wks
27 Revise, Resubmit, & Add'l Review 2 wks
28 Final Plan Package Submitted 1 wk
29 Project Sale 0 wks

Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.FOLLOW UP: ODOT Responds to Three Year Wait for School Sidewalks

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