By Caleb Bedillion
TUPELO – Construction crews are working around the weather to maintain forward progress on construction of new sidewalks near a local elementary school.
The city of Tupelo has received grant funds that will pay up to 75 percent of the cost to put sidewalks between Thomas Street Elementary School and Hancock Park.
The sidewalks will follow a route along Bryan Drive and Monument Drive.
City engineer John Crawley said project contractor Simmons Erosion Control is currently working on Monument Drive near Hancock Park.
Earlier work on Bryan Drive was temporarily suspended because of wet weather.
“We don’t want to muddy up people’s yards,” Crawley said.
Once the ground dries, Crawley said work should begin again on Bryan Drive.
Grant funds for the project are coming through the federally funded Safe Routes to School Program.
The program is intended to provide better infrastructure for students who walk to school.
The Tupelo City Council awarded a bid for the project in May to Simmons Erosion Control for $420,898.
A stretch of sidewalk along Ida Street in the Tupelo Middle School and Pierce Street Elementary area was constructed through the Safe Routes program in 2015.
Originally plans called for the current project to be completed by last fall. However, project work did not begin when originally anticipated.
Crawley now expects completion sometime this spring.