Wed, 03/08/2023 - 2:55pm admin
—Businesses give opinions
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor email@example.com
Schedule Public Information Meeting March 2, 2023 Set Bid Letting Date March 6 Receive Bids April 6 Public Hearing & Award Contract April 17 Begin Construction June Complete Constr. Fall Final Assessment November 2023
CRESCO - Approximately 15 property owners and 10 city representatives attended an informational meeting on Thursday, March 2 concerning the Downtown Crosswalk project.
Daren Sikkink and Scott Huneke of WHKS gave the presentation. Sikkink told attendees, “Let us know if you see something that isn’t right.” The engineering company will be able to fix any items way out of line.
Work for the Downtown Crosswalk Project will be done in five phases, starting this June.
In addition to pairing down the current eight crosswalks crossing N. Elm St. to four, the sidewalks from 1st Ave. to 3rd Ave., on both sides of the street, are being replaced. Property owners are being assessed the cost of 90% of the sidewalk and 50% for the curbwork.
The City will pay the remainder, as well as the crosswalks and ADA compliant pedestrian ramps.
The slope for the sidewalks will be 1.5% or less.
Each phase will take approximately three weeks, one for removing the current concrete and two weeks for prep work and putting down new concrete.
The first phase will start on the southwest corner of 1st Ave. (near Fareway and bike path) for fixing the sidewalk and take the full block, from Murphy, Coe & Smith (102 N. Elm St.) to Atomic Pizza (134 N. Elm).
Phase II will start across the street, on the southeast corner of 1st Ave. (where the bronze statue is located) and continue past CUSB Bank to Hometown Accounting (123 N. Elm)
Phase III will be the Howard County Courthouse block.
Phase IV will start at Leutholds Clothing Store (202 N. Elm St.) and continue north across 3rd Ave. to the corner by the United Methodist Church (310 N. Elm St.)
The final phase will be across the street, starting at the former McGuire & Associates (209 N. Elm St.) and continue across 3rd Ave. to the corner of the former The Store Next Door.
During construction, access to business front doors could be difficult. Many of the businesses have back door entrances that could work, or if needed, a wood entrance can be installed temporarily.
Pedestrians will be able to walk on the concrete the day after it is poured, but the crosswalk area needs a week before vehicles can drive across it.
The sidewalks will be reconstructed from the building face to the curb; two feet of the curb will be removed and replaced; the water service shut offs will be reconstructed; and storm sewer intakes will be reconstructed as needed.
The construction should be completed by fall, with the final assessment taking place in November.
All of the colored concrete crosswalks will be removed and replaced with ADA compliant gray concrete.
Four east/west crosswalks will be completely removed, including the one going from the former Cresco Bicycles (now Outdoors & More at 220 N. Elm) to the E.R. Thompson Building (219 N. Elm); Cresco Family Dentistry (210 N. Elm) to former McGuire & Associates (209 N. Elm St.); Burke Real Estate (124 N. Elm St.) to Hometown Accounting (123 N. Elm St.); and Dough & Joe (114 N. Elm St.) to Peoples Insurance (113 N. Elm St.).
Two crosswalks will have all four corners ADA compliant. They are at the four-way corner of 1st Ave. and N. Elm St. The other is at the other end of the downtown area at 3rd Ave. and N. Elm St.
Two other crosswalks are being relocated. The one in front of the north building of the Leutholds complex will be moved to go straight across from the north sidewalk on 2nd Ave. to the Courthouse. The one starting at the former Vandy’s Shoe Store (132 N. Elm) to the Courthouse will be moved to go straight across Elm St. from the south sidewalk on 2nd Ave. to the Courthouse.
In addition, the north/south crosswalks will be paved between CUSB Bank and People’s Insurance; between the Professional Building (112 N. Elm St.) and Dough & Joe; between Outdoors & More & Angie’s Beauty Shop (222 N. Elm St.); and between 221 N. Elm St. and 219 N. Elm St.
Jeff and Shirlee Haw of Cresco Family Dentistry were concerned about how taking away crosswalks would affect the ability of their patients with mobility issues to get to their building. Currently, there is a crosswalk in front of the building. Sikkink explained that most of the handicapped spaces were in the same area, although perhaps one or two parking spaces off.
Jeff said the transit van drops off a lot of individuals on his block. “It will be much less convenient for those with walkers and wheelchairs to get to our business if they have to walk from the corner.”
Barb Prochaska asked, “What if something happens to the foundation of my 140-year old building.” She was told to make sure to take video or pictures before the work begins and deal with insurance after.
Changes can still be made to the plans if Council or WHKS wants to change something before construction begins. If the change is on a business owner’s property, the assessment would not change from the quote given in November 2022.