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• Cr Mark Edwards pictured with the early footpath work in High Street, Russell Island.

A promise by Redland City Council and Cr Mark Edwards, following the tragic death of a Russell Island teenager, is now being fulfilled.

Work has started on a footpath program on Russell Island that will eventually spread the length of the island and then onto neighbouring islands.

Russell Island resident, Melissa Warne, contacted Cr Mark Edwards about the problem with island footpaths after 14-year-old Ethan Stephenson was tragically killed by a motor vehicle heading home on Saturday, June 7, last year.

Ethan had been walking along the edge of Centre Road, Russell Island, when the accident occurred.

Melissa Warne believes the lack of adequate footpaths on the road, contributed to the death.

She was supported in an inspiring speech to council by Ethan's best mate, 14-year-old Lochie McLintock.

Redland City Council was so moved by the presentation, that it voted unanimously to come up with the funds for the footpath program.

Cr Mark Edwards assisted and introduced Melissa and Lochie to council and fought for the allocation of funds for the project.

Well, work has now started on the first stage that has begun adjacent to the Russell Island jetty up the western side of High Street. The first section up to the Russell Island Shopping Centre, was completed prior to Christmas.

This is an area that will appreciate the new footpath as a number of shopkeepers had previously lobbied Council for action.

"The objective is that the footpath will run the full length of Russell Island north to south. There is also a need for footpaths on major arterial roads across all the Islands," Cr Mark Edwards told The Friendly Bay Islander.

Surveying is currently being carried out by Council to determine the best and most economical route.

"It is expected the footpath construction work on the Russell Island main road will take approximately 18 months provided further funding can be achieved through this year’s budget,” the councillor said.

“We have a footpaths program for the whole of the City and it does present a challenge, financially and physically, to deliver what we need.”

Cr Edwards added: "I believe there is an opportunity for local contractors to tender for this work, which will be good for local employment.”

For the opportunity to tender for Council contracts, visit the Council website and click on the “Tenders” link located on the right hand side of the front page.