New sidewalk creates controversy in Howardville - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New sidewalk creates controversy in Howardville

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Wilderness says the location of the new sidewalk is a route many children take on their walk to school. Wilderness says the location of the new sidewalk is a route many children take on their walk to school.
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Howardville, MO (KFVS) -

A new sidewalk project in Howardville has people in town talking.

Some say it'll help keep people that walk along the road safe, but others say it creates another safety concern.

The new sidewalk will be about a mile long. Missouri Department of Transportation officials say it starts out of town near the New Madrid County school and stretched into Howardville to the old high school building.

Highway 61 is a busy street not only for traffic but also for pedestrians.

“It’s very busy even with walking,” Resident Brenda Wilderness said.

Wilderness has lived along Highway 61 for about five years. She welcomes the new addition to the town.

“We can walk back and forth without snakes and bugs getting on us. I think it’s great for the community and will make the community look better,” Wilderness said.

Wilderness said the location of the new sidewalk is a route many children take on their walk to school.

“They will have the opportunity to walk on the sidewalk instead of on the streets where they will be safe,” Wilderness said.

People in town agree. This project is good news for pedestrians. However, Roderick Perkins says he’s concerned about something else.

“Elderly people [live] just all along the highway. They don’t want people in their yards at night time, strangers,” Perkins said.

He said the walking path comes too close to people’s front doors.

“People who own their homes here are [asking, ‘Are you] on my property at this point?’ ‘Who owns the property and how can you just come in and put a sidewalk on my property?’” Perkins said.

MoDot officials say workers are building the sidewalk on the state right-of-way.

Wilderness said it’s worth it for her.

“They’ll come across my driveway but I can go out the other way that’s no problem for me. I’m just glad they’re just doing a work that will make the community look better,” Wilderness said.

Perkins said he didn’t get enough notice; he said the project came as a surprise.

“Wow, they’re doing some construction in my yard,” Perkins said. “They’re putting orange marks in my yard. What’s this going on in my yard?”

However, some say whether they knew it was coming or not, it’s a good thing for Howardville.

“I’m just glad that they are doing something for this community because it will bring some of the property values up in this community,” Wilderness said.

MoDot officials say they hope to have it finished sometime this summer. KFVS News is told it also includes a crosswalk across Highway 61 to the city park.

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