KENMORE, N.Y. (WIVB) – A major construction project gets underway Tuesday in the Village of Kenmore. The work is designed to make Elmwood Avenue safer for walkers and bicyclists.

The project has been designated Elmwood Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements, and in the coming summer months, the need for those improvements should become apparent, with young children scurrying up and down and across Elmwood Ave. to get to Mang Park and the village pool.

Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang said the $800,000 project is designed to make Elmwood Avenue more pedestrian friendly, and it is returning green space–grass and trees–to areas between the curbs and sidewalks that have been paved over.

“We plan on doing sidewalk replacements–the whole length of Elmwood Ave. in the village–and along with that we are replacing a lot of the concrete and asphalt that you see with green space and trees. We are making it more pedestrian friendly, safer.”

Mang said the work on Elmwood Avenue extends the entire length of Elmwood within the Village of Kenmore, starting at Buffalo’s city limit along Kenmore Avenue all the way to Town of Tonawanda boundary line at North End Avenue.

Curbs and sidewalks will be repaved, with wheelchair ramps to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Mang said they originally wanted to widen Elmwood Ave. to include a bike lane but the state rejected that plan.

Eighty-percent of the funding for the project comes from federal government, the other 20 percent comes from the village. Mayor Mang pointed to softening the curve at Kenmore Ave. as an important safety feature.

“Anyone that is familiar with that corner when they come, it juts out a little bit. When we started the project, we said this is one of the things we need to take care of–just to round that portion of Elmwood Ave. off– which I felt made it safer.”

Mang added they have been fortunate there have not been many serious accidents at the Elmwood and Kenmore Ave. intersection.

Expect one of the driving lanes on the northbound side to be closed for construction starting Tuesday, for most of the summer, while the improvements are underway. The bottleneck at Kenmore Avenue started last week.