Blackfoot awarded $612,485

One of the recently awarded grants received by the City of Blackfoot will fund a new sidewalk, crosswalk and pedestrian beacon in front of Ridge Crest Elementary School.
Catie Clark

The City of Blackfoot was recently awarded a total of $612,485 from the Idaho Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC). The grants are for road and safety improvements. They will pay for a pedestrian crossing for Ridge Crest Elementary School and an intersection realignment for Cromwell and Pendlebury Lanes.
The moneys come from the state's Local Strategic Initiatives Program (LSIP). Local highway departments must compete for these funds. Eligible projects must be related to maintenance, safety and mobility. Both of Blackfoot's submissions were shortlisted in January. There is no matching funds requirement for the City to receive these grants.
On Feb. 15, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed House Bill 442 which funded successful grant proposals, including Blackfoot's. The City was informed of the awards on Feb. 19. Both grants are on the City Council agenda for Tuesday so Blackfoot can officially accept them prior to beginning work.
Holly Powell, City Treasurer said: "These grant awards give the City of Blackfoot the opportunity to provide increased safety for students near Ridge Crest Elementary and make the intersection at Cromwell and Pendlebury more efficient in preparation for the coming Veteran’s Cemetery. No matching funds were required.”
The $171,000 for the Ridge Crest Elementary School street crossing comes from special LSIP fund called the Child Pedestrian Safety Grant program. It was set up in 2017 as a collaboration of LHTAC and the Idaho Transportation Department. Its purpose was to improve child pedestrian safety with projects to be completed by early winter, 2018.
The project will provide approximately 575 feet of curb, gutter and sidewalk on the west side of Airport Road. The sidewalk will extend from Harbor Drive to East Airport Road. Included is a crosswalk with a pedestrian-activated warning beacon on the corner of Airport Road and East Airport Road.
"It's awesome," said Randy Martineau, principal of Ridge Crest Elementary School. "I'm so excited about this. It makes it safer for the students as they walk to school."
The other project is the realignment of the intersection of Cromwell and Pendelbury Lanes, at a cost of $441,485. Its purpose is to improve traffic safety and flow. Cromwell will get a 26-foot wide roadway with a 2-foot gravel shoulder.
Cromwell Lane will become the access road for the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemetery. Blackfoot was selected in late 2016 from over 30 eastern Idaho communities for the cemetery. It will be sited on 23 acres of empty land annexed from the State Hospital South at a cost of $8.3 million, most of which will come from the federal government and the rest from the state.