Sidewalk construction ( .PDF )
The city is set to launch its largest sidewalk construction program in recent memory, with eastern Lawrence neighborhoods slated to get the bulk of the work.
Public Works Director Chuck Soules said Wednesday that work could begin in late March or early April on $371,000 worth of construction to fill in gaps in the city’s sidewalk system.
“It will be quite a bit of work we’ll get done,” Soules said. “It is obviously more than we have done in many, many years.”
Haskell Avenue will see a lot of the new construction. Plans call for sidewalk gaps to be filled in along Haskell from 12th to 23rd streets.
Soules said that area was deemed a priority because it is along a busy bus route, and it fit the city’s criteria of trying to ensure there are sidewalks along some of the city’s larger streets.
“I think it will improve pedestrian flow a lot in the area,” Soules said. “Once we’re done, I think you’ll see a lot more people walking along Haskell.”
The city is using money from the annual, federal allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds it receives. By using that money, the city is required to spend the funds in neighborhoods that are considered low- to moderate-income.
This is the first year in recent memory the city has used the CDBG money for a major sidewalk program. Soules said the money is allowing the city to become more aggressive in filling in sidewalk gaps. In last year’s budget, for example, the city had a total of $125,000 for sidewalk projects.
Soules said he hopes the city’s sidewalk spending will increase even more in future years as the city begins collecting revenue from a new infrastructure sales tax that begins in April. Soules said current plans call for using some of that money to address sidewalk issues in areas of town that would not qualify for CDBG funding.
“We have quite a few areas along Sixth, Iowa and even 23rd Street that wouldn’t qualify for the CDBG funding,” Soules said.
The current program is only working to fill in gaps in the sidewalk system. Repairing existing sidewalks still remains the responsibility of the property owner.
Here’s a look at the areas where the city plans to fill in sidewalk gaps:
• East side of North Fifth Street between Elm and Walnut.
• West side of North Seventh Street between Elm and Walnut.
• South side of West Second Street between Wisconsin and Michigan.
• Various areas near Eighth and New Jersey.
• East side of Iowa Street between Harvard Road and University Drive.
• West side of Haskell Avenue between 12th and 23rd streets.
• South side of 15th Street between Brook and Harper.
• North side of Dakota Street between Louisiana and Ohio.
• South side of Utah Street between Louisiana and Oklahoma.
• The city also plans to add about $135,000 worth of additional projects because bids for the program came in about $135,000 less than expected.