FOLEY – More than three years after the project was first proposed, work to build or expand more than 1.5 miles of sidewalks linking Foley schools with growing residential areas should start soon.

The Alabama Department of Transportation approved a grant for Foley under the Transportation Alternatives Program, known as TAP.

The grant application proposes creating or expanding bicycle and pedestrian access routes between the area near Foley High School and Mathis Elementary School and South Hickory Street to the west.

The program is intended to provide safe walking and bicycling routes for students and other residents between homes, schools, commercial and recreational locations in the area.

Under the program about 3,300 feet of new 10-foot-wide concrete pathways would be constructed along Ninth Avenue. Another 1,195 feet of existing sidewalks would be widened from 4 feet to 10 feet on Ninth Avenue and South Pine Street. The program also calls for 3,860 feet of 5-foot wide sidewalks on South Hickory Street to be widened to 10 feet.

City officials expect to go out to bid on the work in four to six weeks.

The City Council approved the project in 2020. ALDOT issued a notice to proceed order on Sept. 15, 2023.