Construction of the “Safe Routes to School” sidewalks is nearing completion in Ottawa.

General contractor Bryant and Bryant Construction, Halstead, Kan., has completed 95 percent of the concrete work, Wynndee Lee, the city’s director of planning and codes administration, said Monday. 

In addition to the remaining concrete work, the contractor was putting the finishing touches on signs and crosswalk striping on Monday, Lee told Ottawa city commissioners Monday.

“They are substantially complete,” Lee said. “They are on Day 21 and they had 30 days to complete the project, so they are well ahead of schedule.”

The crew still needed to seed some grass along the sidewalks and other touch-up work, she said.

She told commissioners she has received positive reports from the community about students using the sidewalks.

The construction work began in late October and was expected to be complete by the end of November, weather permitting. Each route will include medallions designating them as safe routes to school, Lee said.

The project included the following routes:

• Ash Street, on the west side from Ninth to 11th streets.

• Osage Drive, on the west side from 15th to 16th streets.

• 13th Street, on the north side from College Street to Kanza Park.

• North Cherry Street, on the east side from Wilson to Garfield streets.

Bryant and Bryant submitted the low bid of about $200,000 for the contract, which was awarded by the Kansas Department of Transportation, Lee said. A KDOT grant will cover about 80 percent of the project’s cost, city officials previously have said.

Other new sidewalks leading to the bus stop at the Ottawa school district office, 1404 S. Ash St., Ottawa, and to Ottawa Middle School, 1230 S. Ash St., Ottawa, also include medallions indicating they are safe routes to school.

The city also recently completed a sidewalk project on 15th street, as well as other sidewalk and trail projects in recent months.

Blake Jorgensen, Ottawa mayor, said he was pleased with the number of new sidewalks that have been constructed in the past two years in the community.

Doug Carder is senior writer for The Herald. Email him at dcarder@ottawaherald.com