FAIRFAX – Contractors broke ground on the first phase of Fairfax’s sidewalk construction Wednesday, the next step in a decade-long effort to improve pedestrian traffic in Fairfax’s south village area.

Sidewalks on Route 104 improved and then extended, starting with existing sidewalks at the Hunt Street intersection. Construction will extend those sidewalks past the Fairfax Community Center project before ultimately terminating in front of Rainville’s Collision and Repair just south of the town offices.

“It’s been a project that’s been going on for a little over a decade, and we’re very excited we’ve finally gotten all the pieces in place to make this happen,” said town manager Brad Docheff.

Fairfax officials have largely framed the construction of sidewalks as a safety issue, contrasting the town’s sidewalk plans with concerns raised over speeding in Fairfax’s more densely populated village area.

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