Students will be able to walk to school on a paved path after the St. Charles sidewalk project is completed later this year.

The Columbia City Council approved the plans for the St. Charles sidewalk construction project at its meeting Monday. The sidewalk will be built on the north side of St. Charles Road between Demaret Drive and Battle Avenue close to Battle High School.

The majority of the sidewalk will be built on the property of the Lake of the Woods Golf Course. The plans include a 5- to 6-foot concrete sidewalk and a crosswalk with a flashing pedestrian beacon. The project is anticipated to be finished during the fall or winter of 2020, according to a council memo.

The estimated total cost of the sidewalk is $688,600. The project will be funded through a 50/50 cost share between the 2015 Capital Improvement Sales Tax and Columbia Public Schools.

The council received an email in support of the sidewalk from Clint McMillen, who said he believes building pedestrian walkways should be a priority in terms of city infrastructure.

“It seems crazy to me a school would be built without proper pedestrian access to it,” he wrote. “This is especially appalling considering how disadvantaged some of the school’s students are.”

Two Battle High School teachers, Joseph Miller and Jennifer Connell, said they support the St. Charles sidewalk project, according to an online public comment form.

Connell said she has seen joggers and cyclists on the road. Connell has even picked up students walking on the road due to safety concerns.

“It’s dangerous because there is a blind curve,” said Connell. “It would be safer if there was a sidewalk.”

Miller said every day he sees students walking on the side of the road or on the road. Miller said he even sees children as young as 8 or 9 walking on the road.

“This is a public safety issue,” he said.

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