(Image courtesy of the city of Cupertino)

Construction began May 20 on long-anticipated separated bicycle lanes on McClellan Road in Cupertino to create safer biking routes for students at local schools.

The project is a joint effort between the city, Cupertino Union School District and Fremont Union High School District, and will implement curbs and posts to separate bicyclists from vehicle traffic.

In a kickoff celebration May 17, interim City Manager Timm Borden called attention to the tragic impetus for the project — the death of Monta Vista High School student Ethan Wong in a bicycle crash on Oct. 27, 2014. The 15-year-old boy was hit by a big-rig while biking west on McClellan Road near Bubb Road.

“What came out of that was something that really has initiated an effort in Cupertino … for really improving the bike and [pedestrian] infrastructure within the city to make it safer and more comfortable for more people to get on their bikes and get around the city,” Borden said.

The first leg of construction will establish separated bike lanes from Imperial Avenue to Stelling Road, which encompasses the areas of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Monta Vista High School, John F. Kennedy Middle School and De Anza College.

The roadway will be narrowed during the construction project and may cause delays to school drop-off schedules. Crews are expected to work at the site from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the next three months, with no anticipated delays.