City, school to jointly build Nelson Road walking path

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Jun. 30—MOSES LAKE — The City of Moses Lake has established an agreement with the Moses Lake School District to jointly build a path along Nelson Road to help students walk safely to and from Groff Elementary School.

"We'd like to have the path built before school starts," City Manager Allison Williams told city council members during a regular meeting on Tuesday.

Council members unanimously approved a deal to spend an estimated $85,000 on a path along Nelson Road that would allow kids to walk to and from Groff Elementary — located on Moses Lake Avenue south of Nelson Road — separately from traffic. Currently, there are no sidewalks along Nelson Road, though there are sidewalks along Moses Lake Avenue.

The plan calls for the construction of a wide walking path beside the westbound lane of Nelson Road extending from the intersection with Lakeland Drive to a crosswalk across Nelson to a sidewalk paralleling the northbound lane of Moses Lake Avenue. At a previous meeting, City Engineer Richard Law said the city already has plans to install flashing warning lights and upgrade that crosswalk this summer.

Under the deal, the MLSD has agreed to provide $50,000 to cover the cost of creating the walking path. Moses Lake Police Chief Kevin Fuhr, who is also president of the Moses Lake School Board, said the district would use some of the money left over from the construction of Groff Elementary to build the walking trail.

"Part of the school construction bond includes money for school safety improvements," Fuhr said after the council meeting.

In February 2017, MLSD voters approved by three votes a $135 million school construction bond originally intended to build a second, 1,600-student high school and one additional elementary school as well as district-wide safety and security improvements to existing schools. However, after a year-long delay prompted by a lawsuit, followed by the election of two new school board members, the MLSD school board revised the bond projects to include two new elementary schools and a smaller, 900-student high school. That school, Vanguard Academy, is scheduled to open this fall.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at