FOLEY -- A project designed to improve both pedestrian and traffic safety in Foley has been included in the state bonding bill. The bill includes $500,000 for the Highway 23 Safety Improvement Project.

Foley City Administrator Sarah Brunn says the highway bisects the community and has created dangers for school children, pedestrians and motorists alike...

Highway 23 does kind of cut Foley into the north end (which houses our three schools) and the south end (where a significant portion of our population lives) on the south side of Highway 23.  And, we also have some residential communities on the east end away from the school.  So, safety improvements on Highway 23 will make crossing and traffic through the city, safer.

Brunn says they'll use the half-million dollars in bonding along with a Transportation Alternative Funding grant of nearly $490,000 and some federal money to pay for the local share of the project.

This has been probably the number one priority of our city council for the last couple of years.  You know, making Highway 23 safer is a huge component of Foley.  It's extremely important to our livelihood and everything that we do toward growing and sustaining Foley in the future.  So, we're really excited to see this.  This is a big victory for our entire community.

The improvements are scheduled for the year 2022 and include a roundabout at Highway 23 and 8th Avenue, added lighting, turn lanes and improved pedestrian pathways and crossings.

The bonding money is contingent upon Governor Mark Dayton signing the bill.