MERRIAM, Kan. - It’s been an issue for many residents of Merriam, Kansas - getting to and from their destinations around town safely.
Seeing children walk or ride their bikes in the street isn’t unusual for one Merriam neighborhood.
"It's frustrating," said Mary Rafic, a Merriam resident.
Rafic and her family just moved to the Merriam area. She said it’s upsetting to see that her two children can’t do what she did as a kid safely.
"I remember I would actually ride on the sidewalk around the block to my friend’s house in my little big wheels and they can't do that," said Rafic.
Soon, that will change. Construction crews are set to install new sidewalks in a neighborhood that's never had any.
"Yes, like thank God, finally. I'm so happy to hear that," said Rafic.
On Wednesday, the City of Merriam will begin constructing sidewalks near 69th Street and Antioch Road.
"They've been doing a little surveying right now. The official work will begin on Wednesday," said Jenna Gant, Communications Manager for the City of Merriam.
The city said the goal is to provide residents a much safer route to local shops, restaurants, and attractions like the Quail Creek Park.
"Parents feeling like their kids can go to the park maybe by themselves or with their friends and feel safe about it," said Gant.
In 2015, the Merriam City Council committed to constructing sidewalks in areas where they currently don’t exist. This project is the first of three phases in the city. Rafic said she feels the sidewalks will also help with a sense of community in her new neighborhood.
"You have reason to walk outside and talk to your neighbors and kind of create that community feeling," Rafic said.
The new sidewalks are funded through the City’s Capital Improvement Program. The city said this phase of the project will take about two months to complete.