ST. JOHN | A new sidewalk along 85th Street will help pedestrians, including schoolchildren, navigate a busy road while also saving the town money.
The St. John Town Council recently voted to award a contract to install the sidewalk to Lambert Concrete, of Crown Point, for a cost of $14,500.
“That’s about half of what we estimated,” Town Manager Steve Kil said.
Kenn Kraus, the town’s engineer, explored cost estimates to create a sidewalk that goes across the railroad tracks on 85th Street. Some of the estimates came in at nearly $29,000.
Michael Forbes, president of the St. John Town Council, said before the vote, “These are fantastic numbers."
Walking to Clark Middle School along 85th Street is a fact of life for Lake Central School Corp. students, Kil said.
“If you live within a mile of school, you are a walker,” he said.
The sidewalk will make the route safer, Kil said.
St. John officials and Town Attorney David Austgen’s office are working toward a quiet zone at the railroad tracks on 85th Street. As part of the plan, pedestrian gates would be installed at the sidewalk on both the east and west sides of the tracks.
The quiet zone is a major requirement for a new residential community proposed by area developer Dennis Meyer.
That quiet zone would require specific features, including warning lights and gates, Kil said. Although both features are currently at that crossing, the matter is being researched to find out if they meet current railroad requirements for a quiet zone, he said.