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Sidewalk project nearing completion

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The initial phase of a sidewalk project on Lawton's east side is nearing completion. We first told you about the plan last August, when Councilman Jay Burk, who represents the east side, brought the proposal to City Hall.

The sidewalks will ultimately extend from Flower Mound Road to Northeast 15th Street.  Crews began the first phase about three weeks ago on the south side of Gore that stretches from Flower Mound to the traffic signal at Lucky Lane.

It's expected to be completed in the next two weeks.The next phase will be on the *north* side of Gore, connecting pedestrians to the series of commercial properties located there, and should be finished by the summer.
   
The project cost around 140-thousand dollars, with about half coming from money in a voter-approved capital improvement project, and the remainder coming from donations from local businesses and individuals.

A few people said they are excited to finally have easier access to businesses in the area. One man who moved to the area 2 years ago said the sidewalks are needs and will allow him to  get to work faster.

Richard Wahl lives off Gore Boulevard and Flower mound Road. Without sidewalks, Wahl said walking to work everyday was a hassle.

"Normally I would have to walk around the grass or something or the dirt and gets my pants dirty or my shoes," Wahl said.

But Wahl said he was excited to hear the news about the construction of sidewalks being built.

"Now I can jog or run to work and everything now...its a lot nicer I believe," said Wahl.

 
"We have a lot of locations on these major arterial that do not have sidewalks and we need sidewalks. One for the safety of the residents so they are not walking in the street," said Ihler.

City manager Jerry Ihler also said it'll provide easier access to local businesses for residents in wheelchairs or veterans who live at the VA center nearby.

"They have to have a hard surface to be able to utilize motorized wheelchairs and this allows them to get a little more freedom and be able to come down after dinner to get ice cream," said Ihler.

The Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority (LETA) is also contributing their support to the project. They are allowing residents to make a donation to support the construction of this sidewalk and have a brick embedded in the sidewalk acknowledging their gift.

"The money raised will actually be put back into the 2015 sales tax extension and will reduce that amount that will be utilized in construction for this project.  So any money that we gain from the donation of the bricks will reduce the amount of that we have to utilize from the sales tax extension which will allow us to take that sales tax extension money and put it somewhere else with a sidewalk somewhere else," Ihler said.
 

As part of the donation, a message can be inscribed on the brick noting your business or in honor of a veteran in your family.

To make a donation, stop at the City Clerk's office or Lawton Enhancement Trust Authoirity located at 212 SW 9th Street. Donations may also be placed at http://letaveterancentersidewalk.donationbricks.com/. 

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