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April 2018

Relentlessly local coverage of Gilbert and our neighboring communities

Hometown Heroes

Bill Okruch splashes down the water slide with his daughter Caprice, 5, at the Ka-POW! Superhero Adventure Run.

Small bridge to bring safety and regional connectivity

Public safety training center in the planning stages

STORY AND PHOTOS BY SRIANTHI PERERA

BY MCKAYLA HULL

Gilbert has secured the funds to construct a pedestrian bridge that will add connectivity not just to the town, but to the region. The bridge will close a small gap in the Western Powerline Trail, where the Union Pacific Railroad crosses, located in a mainly industrial area a short distance from Neely Road and in the vicinity of Neely Traditional Academy. “Although people can cross the trail, it’s illegal to cross the railroad there,” said Rod Buchanan, the Parks and Recreation

Director for the town. “When you do this project, you will make it legal to cross the tracks.” The bridge will be designed by September and constructed next year. About 1,000 feet long and 30-feet high, it will serve as one of the gateways to the Heritage District for those biking, walking and riding from the area west of the railroad. It will also help those from Chandler, see

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE page 6

Gilbert’s police officers and firefighters travel to other cities in the Valley for training because the town doesn’t have a specialized facility of its own. It fritters away time and money and is often wrought with scheduling challenges. The town is planning to construct its own public safety training center on 50 acres of land it owns on the northeast corner of Power and Pecos roads, north of the railroad tracks, Gilbert Police

Chief Mike Soelberg said. The state-of-the-art public safety training center will cost $84.6 million and the majority of its funding is expected to come from bonds of about $56 million or less, which voters would have to approve, according to Soelberg. The request for a bond election is expected to go before the Gilbert Town Council in June, he also said. In a setting mimicking the structures

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46 Spirituality 48 Arts 52 Opinion

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PUBLIC SAFETY page 8

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Gilbert Sun News April 2018  
Gilbert Sun News April 2018