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Federal grant, student donations to help pay for guardrails

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Donations from local students will help pay to install 4,000 feet of guardrails around ponds this year in Greenwood.

Clark Elementary School students raised $3,591 for guardrails in 2011 because a student’s parent died where a guardrail could’ve made an accident less serious, spokesman Cameron Rains said.

The city will now use the donations for a $206,241 project to put guardrails at 13 rain water retention ponds across the city. A federal grant is covering more than $200,000 of the costs of the project, which the city has been working on since 2011 to protect drivers on nearby streets.

The state highway department is currently taking bids from contractors to do the project, and the steel guardrails should be installed later this year, city community development services director Mark Richards said. Greenwood chose to build the guardrails after two motorists drove into retention ponds in recent years and died.

The city is installing the guardrails at retention ponds near busy roads or at ponds where there have been car accidents, he said. For example, the city is building a guardrail near the intersection of Graham and Allen roads, near where Herkimiah Wimbush, 36, of Greenwood, drove into a pond and died.

The city began requiring developers in 2005 to install guardrails at retention ponds they build, but most ponds in the city built prior to that don’t have guardrails around them.

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