University City

Public meeting seeks community feedback on sidewalk project

Residents will have a chance to comment on the proposed Nevin Road and Nevin-Gibbon roads sidewalk project at an Aug. 13 public meeting.

Though construction on both sections of sidewalk isn’t likely to begin before 2015, project managers want community feedback on the designs that have been developed to date.

Allison Brickey of Charlotte Engineering and Property Management is the project manager for the Nevin-Gibbon portion of the project, which is slated to run from Nevin Road at Alpine Lane to West Sugar Creek Road, via Gibbon Road. She said the proposed sidewalk will cover 0.9 mile with a budget of $1.3 million.

In the Nevin Road portion of the project, the sidewalk will run from Lake Road to Alpine Lane on the north side of Nevin Road and cover 0.85 mile with a budget of $1.75 million.

Sonji Mosley, project manager for the Nevin Road portion, said it would include a pedestrian bridge across Irwin Creek; a pedestrian refuge island with striped crossing; accessible ramps; storm drainage; bus waiting pads; 6-foot-wide sidewalks and 8-foot-wide planting strips.

Brickey said the Aug. 13 open meeting will offer residents a chance to review design plans. The staff also hopes to have a real estate expert available to discuss how residential and commercial property could be affected.

“We’d like to get as many people interested in the project as possible. If they support it … we like to have them show up and say, ‘We like that you’re doing this,’ ” Brickey said, noting that often the only people who attend are those with complaints or who don’t support the project.

“So we make changes (according to that feedback). Then what people originally liked is changed. So it’s nice if they can stop in and take a look for a quick minute.”

Those who can’t stay long, Brickey said, can pick up questionnaires with return postage that they can fill out and mail at their convenience. Printouts also will show the estimated schedules for both portions of the project, including the scope of work and project contacts.

The overall goals are to provide connectivity and safety to pedestrians, and to make other forms of transportation more accessible. Community residents who attended the project’s first public meeting last October mostly supported the idea, Brickey said, adding that the need for more sidewalks in the area is obvious.

“You can clearly see ‘goat paths’ – dirt routes along the side of the road where people walk a lot,” she said.

At the moment, the two projects are at different points in the process leading up to construction.

Brickey said the Nevin-Gibbon Road portion will likely start the real estate process – the purchasing of temporary and permanent easements and right-of-ways – at the end of September of this year. She estimated real estate could take nine months to a year, particularly because the project qualifies for federal funding, which requires approval at each phase.

A six-month bid phase for contractor bids will follow. Construction is anticipated to begin late winter or spring 2015, Brickey said, noting that the Nevin Road portion is about a phase behind schedule.

The Nevin-Gibbon project will be funded through a mix of federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding and the city’s sidewalk program, Brickey said.

The Nevin Road project will be funded entirely through the city’s Capital Improvement Program, said Mosley.