Engineering a Safer Trip to School

Shelton Pioneer Way 5Oh, September mornings! Sharpened pencils, nervous smiles, sunshine, school buses and crosswalks. With lunches packed and backpacks on, our smallest scholars head back to school this month, and for the students at Bordeaux Elementary in Shelton, Wash., that momentous trip just got safer.

Shelton Pioneer Way 4This summer, SCJ Alliance finished a two-year road reconstruction project for the city’s Lake Boulevard / Pioneer Way. SCJ provided transportation design, traffic engineering, and SEPA/NEPA permitting for the project that included a crossing to the elementary school.

Improvements along the 1.2-mile stretch of road included sidewalks, detached walkways, curb and gutter, retaining walls, water main reconstruction, sanitary sewer main extensions, and intersection improvements. Other considerations included coordination with utility purveyors for conflict mitigation and stormwater management through a new conveyance system and water quality facilities.

“It was a great project to work on,” said SCJ Project Engineer Josh Brannin. “We were able to help reconstruct an existing road that had far outlived its design life. But the thing I will always remember is the Bordeaux Elementary School principal’s testimony about the safety benefits that the new sidewalk and RRFB crossing will provide for the students.”

“I can never remember a time when we did not worry about our students crossing this road,” Principal Carey Murray said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project. “I really appreciate the nice crosswalk and the flashing lights for cars.”

Shelton Pioneer Way 1She went on to praise the new downhill sidewalk as well, saying the school’s teachers occasionally take their classes downtown.

“In the middle of a project, it can be difficult to appreciate the end result,” Josh said. “Hearing Principal Murray’s relief for her students’ safety was a rewarding final note for me.”

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