City to make some east Columbia sidewalks more accessible

Monday, September 21, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 10:51 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 21, 2009

COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia will spend about $450,000 to renovate some sidewalks east of downtown during the next two years.

The City Council approved a proposed $450,000 sidewalk improvement projectwith the budget Monday night.

The project would use federal stimulus dollars and city money to make sidewalks on the east side of town more accessible to people with disabilities. This area was mentioned in a GetAbout Columbia study about how the city could better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Improvements include adding ramps and smoothing bumps.

All the proposed changes are on streets in an area that stretches from Windsor Street to Anthony Street and from William Street to Hitt Street.

Proposed changes include areas near Paquin Tower. Residents of Paquin Tower told the city that the changes would help them, especially people who use wheelchairs.

"The sidewalks in this city need serious repair and upgrades," Paquin resident Charles Dudley Jr. wrote in a report sent to the council.

Public Works Director John Glascock said sidewalks will be fixed in panels rather than by road, so the neediest parts are finished first.

Planning and Development Director Tim Teddy said he hopes to award a contract for the first phase of the project by November.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would contribute $195,339. The city, using its regular Community Development Block Grant Program funding, would spend $268,547, which includes $25,000 held until the next fiscal year.

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