East Wenatchee is taking another step in its 5th Street Safe Routes to School project by making improvements at Kenroy Elementary School. 

The city council has approved an agreement to construct a driveway from 5th Street NE into the school parking lot. 

Image of improvements at Kenroy Elementary School from city of East Wenatchee
Image of improvements at Kenroy Elementary School from city of East Wenatchee

Public Works Manager Garren Melton says it'll provide a second entrance into the school parking lot for student drop offs and pickups. 

"Currently they don't have a great setup for student pickup and drop off," said Melton. "It clogs up the surrounding streets." 

The city will also install two streetlights on North Kansas Ave. where school buses drop students off. 

The improvements were planned as a part of the district’s recent bond package which failed to pass a public vote. 

Melton says it'll fulfill a need already identified by the district and is an efficient use of taxpayer dollars. 

"Our project is a great opportunity for them to get that driveway in," Melton said. "And it avoids the school district from having to tear out improvements that we're just put in by the city and rework the frontage improvements." 

The driveway and new streetlights will now be funded through the city's nearly $7 million 5th Street Safe Routes to School project, with the school district contributing $15,000 to the effort. 

The city council signed off on a contract with Active Construction Inc. of East Wenatchee to perform the overall project back in May.  

It's largely funded by the federal Safe Routes to School program to provide safe walking paths for kids between schools and residential areas.  

The city received two federal grants through the program to construct sidewalks, install streetlights, make improvements to pedestrian crossings, and add traffic calming features on 5th Street NE.  

The Kenroy Elementary project received $3,560,363 in federal funds for improvements on 5th Street NE between N Jonathan Ave and N Kentucky Ave.  

The Sterling Intermediate School project received $3,233,249 to improve 5th Street NE between N Georgia Ave and N James.  

The city says the area of 5th Street being improved tends to be very busy, particularly at the beginning and end of the school day as there are four schools in the area, including Eastmont Junior and Senior high schools.   

There are currently no sidewalks, which forces student pedestrians to walk in the roadway and limits ADA accessibility.   

The city also says the lack of roadway lighting endangers pedestrians, particularly during winter months. 

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ