Wren sidewalk project slated for this summer

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By Stan Welch

The second phase of a sidewalk and traffic flow improvement project for the Wren school area should this summer.

County and School District One officials met with contractors for a pre-bid conference last Thursday to go over the details and specifications for the Wren High School sidewalk project.

A variety of funding sources are being used to pay for the second phase.

“We have had to bring together a real combination of funding sources, from matching funds for grants to C funds. Everyone involved has worked very hard to make this happen. Hopefully, funding will rebound in the future and we can complete what we originally hoped to.”

According to information provided by Shelato and her department, LaRoache Drive will be widened fan Academy to Wren School Road to add a left turn lane (at Wren School Road).

Entrance #1 which runs north from LaRoache Drive to the drop off loop area at the back of the high school will be widened to add a turn lane and sidewalk.

Entrance #2 will be constructed to provide a 24-foot paved access drive with angle parking spaces from the existing parking area at the high school to LaRoache Drive.

2245 feet of concrete sidewalk will be constructed along LaRoache Drive, Entrance #1, Entrance #2, to the Freshman Academy and a small portion at the Elementary School addition to provide ADA compliant pedestrian facilities. New crosswalks, pavement markings, and signage will be installed to complete the project.

This will provide pedestrian access between all three schools, Wren Middle (previously completed), Wren High and Wren Elementary. It also provides access to the schools’ and Hurricane Park’s athletic fields.

The Wren School Road and Wigington Road intersection will have a concrete median installed, crosswalk relocated and the southeast corner curb radius widened. In addition, the high school driveway entrance will be removed and permanently closed with concrete pipe bollards, creating a three-way intersection. Traffic will be redirected from the high school’s front door entrance onto Entrance #2, then onto LaRoache Drive. There will be no changes to the main student parking lot intersection with Wren Middle School.

Safe Routes to School funding will include all work at the Wigington Road and Wren School Road Intersection. It also will include all work that is included with the installation of sidewalk along LaRoache Drive and connections to the school.

The first phase of the project several years ago was also funded with $360,000 obtained from several entities, including the SCDOT ($200,000), Anderson County School District One ($75,000), state gas tax funds ($35,000), and a $50,000 paving fund allocation from the District Six County Councilman at the time, Bill Dees.

Included in that project was almost 4500 feet of sidewalks along three secondary roads in the area, as well as four new cross walks and re-striping of two existing crosswalks, as well as the addition of some safety signage. Pedestrian connections were also installed in key locations, linking the system.

Phase two has been somewhat reduced in scope from original plans due to funding restraints, according to Shelato.

The bid deadline and opening will be held Friday, January 27 with construction to begin April 2. Roads and driveways affected by the project will remain open until school ends in June, officials said. Completion date is July 31, before school opens.