Gold Beach Fixes Busy Road Near School with Set-Aside Funds

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A “little” money goes a long way!

A school zone street without a sidewalk is a problem. Well, it was a problem for Gold Beach until the city successfully applied for a Small City Allotment grant and received the $250,0000 needed to improve a busy stretch of road near Riley Creek Elementary.

“This road had steep drop-offs with eroding pavement and a hillside approximately 20 ft. in height to the ball field and playgrounds below,” City Administrator Anthony Pagano said. “There was also a blind corner with an unprotected designated walking area from 3’ narrowing to 1’ in width. This is a very heavily walked stretch of road for the children as well as our elderly population.”

The “before” photos show that walking on Leith Road, which runs along the north side of the school grounds, would be extremely dangerous, not just from traffic but from the steep terrain surrounding the road. With the road serving as the main access route to the school for a nearby neighborhood, it needed attention, which came from the state’s Small City Allotment program, created in 2017 by the Oregon Legislature.

Funds makes the difference!

Now, the road has new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and one section has a much-needed retaining wall to shore up the road and keep the travelers – young and old, on foot or on wheels – safe.

“Our community has benefited greatly from our new sidewalk extension project,” said Pagano. “It has created a safe space for children and adults to walk now.”

The total cost of the project was $280,665. It’s one good example of why the program recently went from a maximum of $100,000 awards to $250,000. In today’s world, $100,000 doesn’t buy much when it comes to transportation infrastructure; Pagano should know. He strongly recommends small cities apply for these funds.

“The SCA program was a huge asset to us. Without being able to get these funds, we would have continued to have safety issues for vehicles and pedestrians,” he said. “The process to apply was streamlined and very easy to work through. I highly recommend this program to any small cities looking for assistance on similar types of projects.”

The next application period is June 1 through July 31, 2024.

About Author

Shelley Snow is the Strategic Communications Coordinator with Oregon Department of Transportation

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