WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) — The city of West Point is one step closer to getting new sidewalks.
On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen approved the contract allowing engineers to begin the construction and inspection phases.
For decades, many children living in West Point have traveled to school by foot, and for all these years, those students haven't had sidewalks.
Instead, they've had to walk in the streets, but a grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation changes that.
"What this will do is build sidewalks and make it safe for kids to get to school," said Mayor Robbie Robinson.
The "Safe Route to Schools" grant helps fund nearly a mile of new sidewalks, primarily near Central School and Fifth Street School.
"These are placed where kids have to walk in the street, which, of course, is quite unsafe," Robinson said. "This will really benefit our children."
Robinson said the city received the grant a couple of years ago, but right of way issues and other factors delayed the project.
"It's been a buck of worms," he said. "We're butting to the bottom of it and ready to advertise."
Selectwoman Linda Hannah said children living within certain distances from the schools aren't allowed to ride to school, meaning many have to walk. That's why she believes the project is long overdue.
"You'd be amazed to see the number of kids walking back and forth to school," Hannah said. "Anytime we can get the kids off the streets and in a safe walking environment, I think is good."
City officials said construction will begin this spring, and they hope to have the project completed by the end of this school year.