Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Local News

Clinton Sidewalk Assessment Approved to Aid Maintenance, Grant Applications

With a goal of increasing the walkability of the town, the Town Council voted to conduct an assessment of the town’s sidewalks.

The town has agreed to work with the engineering group BETA Group, Inc., at a cost of $6,850 for the sidewalk assessment. In the assessment, the group will provide the town with sidewalk and curb conditions on up to 12 miles of sidewalks and 200 curb ramps in town. The information will be digitalized for easy use from the town.

“The report would describe the condition and state of repair. The inventory could be used to identify pedestrian gaps to aid in planning for transportation grants. The condition assessment could help the council understand the future need for funding,” said Town Manager Karl Kilduff.

The council approved the program by a vote of five in favor to one opposed. Council member Carol Walter was the lone person opposed. Walter’s opposition centered on the lack of funds currently allocated toward fixing sidewalks.

Council member Tim Guerra said he saw value in having an accurate assessment of sidewalk conditions, and that it could improve safety for pedestrians.

“There’s many areas in town where the sidewalks I think are deplorable,” said Guerra.

In December 2019 the Town Council approved an agreement with the BETA group for $22,900 to assess the roads in the town to facilitate planning for capital projects to improve the roadways in town.

“The sidewalk study follows one that was approved in December 2019 to assess the condition of roads. The road assessment would help feed the annual paving plan for tackling roads and budgeting for road repairs. The sidewalk study would inventory as well as assess the condition of sidewalks,” said Kilduff.

Public Works Director Todd Hajek said that the study will be roadways helpful in part because the people rating the sidewalks will have been trained in how to do it and because they use an impartial rating scale to determine what projects need priority.

“As with our Pavement Management Study, this gives us a good roadmap of where monies should be spent based on conditions versus opinion. It also gives us justification when planning budgets,” said Hajek.

Eric O’Connell covers news for Clinton for Zip06. Email Eric at e.oconnell@shorepublishing.com.

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