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AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) — Some new sidewalks in Amory take a pounding from more than a thousand feet. And city and state officials hope they get a lot more of the same treatment.

West Amory Elementary celebrated the completion of the Avenue G Safe Routes to Schools project today with a visit by city and state transportation leaders and a walk along the new sidewalks.

The project relocated utilities, replaced drainage and built new sidewalks on both sides of Avenue G from Martin Luther King Drive to the school. It’s a busy street in a neighborhood full of children.

“In the state of Mississippi we need to educate our children so they can have strong, healthy minds and we also need to insure they have access to the activities that create strong, healthy bodies as well,” Amory Mayor Howard Boozer said of the project.

Boozer said the sidewalks provide an opportunity for children to ride their bikes and also walk. They will be able to walk to school if they live in the neighborhood. He also said it would give children a chance to develop new healthy habits with their friends and their parents year-around.

Those habits hopefully will carry on  lifetime, he said.

Amory was the leader in the state for the Safe Routes to School Program as the G Avenue project was the first Safe Routes to School to be completed in the state.

Jamie Houston of West Amory Elementary has been working with city officials and MDOT to plan the event.

“Through this event, we hope to teach our students the importance of walking to school safely. Since G Avenue is a very busy street, the sidewalks make it safer for our students to walk to and from school,” Houston said.

Houston said the sidewalks were a tremendous asset to WAES and the community. She said through this event, they hoped to see families and people from the community come together to enjoy a safe and healthy walk to school.

City officials are working on other projects to encourage a lifetime of exercise and healthy living.

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