Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights improves sidewalks near Sunset


Sunset Elementary students who cross the intersection on 12th Avenue to get to school may notice changes on corners of both Lawson and King streets.

The city of Airway Heights finished installing the pedestrian-activated flashing stop signs on the corners of King and Lawson. The stop signs were just one several new sidewalk improvements that was funded by the Safe Routes for Sunset grant.

The signs work when a pedestrian is about to cross the intersection. They push a button that triggers flashing lights at each sign.

Along with the new signs, new sidewalks were constructed along 12th Avenue, from Lawson Street to the library. The curbs on the corners of Lawson and King were redone to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and now feature truncated dome bump pads.

In addition to the improvements near Sunset, there are speed feedback signs on the southbound lanes of Lawson and King.

Development Services director Derrick Braaten said the signs would also record the hour and minutes when a car speeds past it, then send the data to the Police Department.

The data will help police implement stronger patrols in the area during certain times of the day.

Braaten said there are some final changes to the improvements such as synchronizing the timers on the stop signs so they all have the same duration. The city will be trimming the trees around the signs and notifying residents on how to maintain the areas near the signs.

Braaten will contact Sunset to discuss having a grand opening ceremony before school begins.

The Safe Routes grant also has an education and enforcement component. According to Braaten, the grant has already provided over $8,000 in supplies for Sunset’s physical education program and an additional $8,000 used toward the purchase of library and classroom materials. He said the rest of the money would go toward acquiring books for classrooms.

The city applied for the grant in 2010 with the intentions of making sidewalks safer for students. Although State Legislature approved the grant, the city could not use the money until 2013. The improvement projects were put on hold due to bids coming in over the engineer’s $65,000 estimate. The bid for the projects went out earlier this year and was accepted by Bacon Construction back in May.

The grant itself was a collaborative effort between the city’s planning and parks, recreation and community services departments. J.C. Kennedy, parks, recreation and community services director who wrote the original grant application.

Braaten said improving safety for students is an ongoing process, however he is glad the city was able to complete a project this grand.

“It’s satisfying to get this done,” Braaten said. “This will benefit the students and we’re always trying to work toward that.”

Al Stover can be reached at


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