Strong Boulevard Sidewalk Project moves into final phase

The City of McAlester is preparing for the final phase of the Strong Boulevard Sidewalk project.

Construction of a sidewalk along Strong Boulevard from Electric Avenue to Washington Avenue is nearing completion after city councilors recently approved a notice of award for the project’s final phase.

“We’re excited to see this project get closer to the finish line to better serve our community,” City Manager Dave Andren said. “People walked along this path so often that it had worn trails in the grass to the various sites in the area, so we wanted to serve that need for our citizens with a safer and more accessible route.”

Phase IV consists of about 2,100 linear feet of 5-feet-wide, concrete sidewalk from Monroe Avenue to Washington Avenue along the west side of Strong Boulevard. Four contractors submitted bids for the project with J&S Construction Company submitting the lowest bid of $226,830. Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust approved a grant of $152,900 for Phase IV.

Constructing a sidewalk adjacent to Strong Boulevard from Electric Avenue all the way to Washington Avenue is a partnership between TSET and the City of McAlester. The McAlester Regional Health Center also donated funds for benches installed along the sidewalks.

The primary objective is to promote healthy lifestyles by enhancing pedestrian accessibility within the city, catering not only to walkers but also to joggers and other enthusiasts, while ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act with ADA-accessible sidewalks. Completion of the project will provide pedestrians safer access to sites along Strong Boulevard — such as the McAlester Regional Health Center, Warren Clinic, the MRHC Wellness Center, the Pittsburg County Health Department and more.

Construction began in 2022 after city councilors approved Phase I to start from Electric Avenue south to Pierce Avenue at a cost of $103,925. Phase II extended the sidewalk from East Pierce Avenue to East Polk Avenue, adding roughly 1,000 linear feet at a cost of $152,215. Phase III added about 2,000 linear feet from Polk Avenue to Monroe Avenue with TSET splitting the costs with the City.

Citizens are also encouraged to provide input regarding multimodal transportation at the next Active Transportation Meeting at 6 p.m. May 6, 2024 at the J.I. Stipe Center at 801 N. Ninth St. in McAlester. These meetings help inform policy and promote improvements throughout the City of McAlester.