The white posts that recently popped up on Oak Grove Drive in North Albany look like, well, white posts. Actually they are “delineators” that Benton County installed to make a safer walkway for children between Oak Grove School and Scenic Drive, about a quarter-mile apart.
Widening the south shoulder of Oak Grove Drive to an 8-foot-wide multi-model path was a condition of the county permit for rebuilding the school over the last couple of years. But some Oak Grove parents were still concerned about safety.
As a result, the school district, the city of Albany and the county collaborated on additional steps on the roadway itself and at the Scenic Drive intersection, which is in the city while the road and the school are outside.
Benton County Engineer Laurel Byer reports that the cost of the path, delineators, rumble strips and striping was about $71,000, and the school district paid for most of it.
In addition to those items, there will also be pedestrian-activated crossing signals at Scenic Drive. Byer said the city donated one of them, no longer needed at Gibson Hill Road and Crocker Lane because a traffic light is being built there. (The other one at that intersection, Byer says, “was destroyed by a truck that got a little too close.”)
A county crew installed the delineators, which are fastened to the pavement but presumably break away if a vehicle hits them, at 40-foot intervals, with white pavement buttons in between. The county will also do something else with striping so that drivers don’t accidentally think the path is another traffic lane.
“In general,” Byer said, “most of the work is complete.”
Now all they need is for school to to reopen, for the corona crisis to be over, and for Oak Grove students to be able to use that pathway to get to and from school. (hh)