City designing Park Avenue walking path

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AUBURN — Crews could begin building a path to connect Court Street to Park Avenue Elementary School next spring.

Auburn Community Services Director Eric Labelle said the city had begun designing the path, which will run along the eastern side of Park Avenue from the edge of the school’s property to Court Street — about 1,500 feet.

“The next step will be to have discussions with the neighbors and abutters along the path, explaining what the work entails and what we need to do,” Labelle said. “It may take some time. There are a lot of steps we need to go through before we can finish this project.”

The school opened in 2006, built to replace Lake Street Elementary School. With no paths along Park Avenue, all students living west of the school are bused. Students living east of the school walk up paths along Orchard and Hillsdale streets.

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The city received a $711,360 grant through the Federal Highway Adminstration’s Transportation, Community and System Preservation program. That money will go to  purchase rights-of-way along Park Avenue, making room for the path, and to pay for the construction.

“We’ve already moved ahead of the designs for the path so we could initiate the work a lot faster, once we received the money,” Labelle said. He hopes to wrap up rights-of-way negotations later this year.

“But because this is a federally funded proejct, there are a lot of steps — more steps than usual,” he said. “We hope to have all of the procedures done and all of the federal steps wrapped up pretty quickly and turned around this year. “

staylor@sunjournal.com

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