Auxvasse seeks to improve safety at new crosswalk

Mandi Steele/FULTON SUN photo: Brian Simpson uses the crosswalk to help his son, Drake, and Katherine Menard cross Route E after school Wednesday. The crosswalk is near Auxvasse Elementary School and students use it daily to walk to and from the school.

Mandi Steele/FULTON SUN photo: Brian Simpson uses the crosswalk to help his son, Drake, and Katherine Menard cross Route E after school Wednesday. The crosswalk is near Auxvasse Elementary School and students use it daily to walk to and from the school.

When fifth-grader Crystal Johnson, 10, approaches the crosswalk at the intersection of Ann Street and Route E, she stops, looks both ways, then darts across. Johnson crosses without difficulty, and to make sure Auxvasse Elementary School students continue to cross safely, the City of Auxvasse plans to man the walk with a crossing guard.

The recently built crosswalk is part of the city’s sidewalk project that wrapped up in February. City maintenance workers painted white lines over Route E, creating a crosswalk that connects the sidewalk on Ann Street with the sidewalk that runs west toward the four-way stop downtown. The almost $161,000 project also included restoring and building new sidewalks through A.H. Domann Memorial Park, on the north side of East Walnut Street and on the west side of Main Street.

The Missouri Department of Transportation provided just under $92,000 in grant assistance for the city to complete the project. Missy Hooks, city clerk, said the crosswalk had to be built as part of MoDOT’s requirements. MoDOT is also requiring a crossing guard, since Route E is a state road. She said the crosswalk is at a busy intersection, since buses turn from Route E onto Ann Street as part of their route.

“We definitely need someone down there,” Hooks said. “I know it’s been a big concern for a lot of parents.”

At the Auxvasse Board of Alderman meeting March 21, Hooks told the board members about a vehicle that had a close call with children crossing the street at the walk. According to the agreement between the city and MoDOT, it is up to the city to provide a crossing guard, and MoDOT will provide the required equipment. Hooks said Alderwoman Stephanie Leverett volunteered to man the walk until a permanent crossing guard is found.

Auxvasse Elementary Principal Amy James said it was a good idea to put the crosswalk in, as there are several students that have to cross that “busy” part of the road. She agreed that there should be a guard at the spot to stop passing vehicles.

“Often times we find we have vehicles that just zoom by at the end of the day,” James said. “So having someone to monitor that for safety purposes would be beneficial.”

Anyone interested in volunteering to man the crosswalk, can contact Auxvasse City Hall at (573) 386-3227.

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