Lawton City Council approved sidewalk project, will focus on Ridgecrest Elementary

Lawton City Council hosts special meeting to discuss new sidewalk plan

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Lawton and A.E. Construction, through mediation, agreed on a pedestrian bridge over wolf creek and 8,000 square feet of sidewalk in different areas around the city, totaling about $180,000.

While the plan for where these sidewalks will go hasn’t been finalized, the council said the priority is to provide sidewalks to LPS.

“Everyday I see hundreds of kids, in the weeds, in the mud trying to get to school, and they can’t walk in the road. So the school’s are our priority,” said Councilman Sean Fortenbaugh.

“The one’s where the kids are least safe, we need to put those as a priority. The one’s with children at the most risk," said Councilwoman Mary Ann Hankins.

The bridge will cost $115,000 thousand dollars, giving the city $65,000 for the sidewalks. Because the city saw so many proposals, the special meeting gave them a chance to narrow the list down.

“There’s far more proposed projects than we could ever do," said WR Moon, the assistant city attorney.

Fortenbaugh, who has taken on a lead role in this sidewalk project, said he got involved after a child died walking to school.

“He was walking in the street, and at that time it had rained. There were no sidewalks, just weeds, dirt and mud, so he decided to walk in the roadway, and got struck by a car and killed. I just thought it was senseless,” said Fortenbaugh.

One Lawton physician spoke during the meeting, and he said adding these sidewalks would be beneficial for more than just the students.

“You have a chance to not only help children with their health and wellness, but it helps you build a backbone for developing healthy neighborhoods,” said Dr. Michael Cooper.

After a full hour of discussion, the council decided to table their decision until new business in the regular council meeting.

CORRECTION: The council then decided to move forward with the project, and approved work to be done adjacent to Ridgecrest Elementary.

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