Residents voice mixed feelings about Worley Street sidewalk construction

Monday, September 5, 2011 | 5:00 p.m. CDT; updated 7:29 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 5, 2011

COLUMBIA — Residents say they have mixed feelings about the quality and necessity of a new sidewalk currently under construction along Worley Street.

Work on the sidewalk, which is on the street's north side between Clinkscales Road and West Boulevard, began Aug. 15. Plans for the project have been in the works since May 2009.

The project had an original price tag of $272,000, but has already exceeded that amount by more than $5,600. It is being funded by a Community Development Block Grant.

Some neighborhood residents think the money should have been put toward improving existing sidewalks on the south side of Worley Street.

"I don't know who thought we needed it," resident James Tatum said. "There's other places in town that don't have any sidewalks on either side."

Resident Nancy Olson said the start of construction conflicted with the beginning of the academic year for West Junior High and West Boulevard Elementary schools. Both are located off Worley Street.

Olson voiced concerns about the quality of the sidewalks being built.

“They’ve been putting it in so fast,” she said.

From the project's beginning, the city told residents they would be given up-to-date information about the construction and any inconveniences that may arise, Olson said. When she arrived home last Thursday, however, she said she was unable to access her driveway, and hadn't been given any notice.

Tatum wasn't given any warning, either, but said he was later told he would not be able to access his driveway for five days while the concrete cured.

Resident Kara Mikles said the construction crew asked her to move her car Thursday night, before laying the concrete for her driveway Friday. She said she was able to use it by Saturday.

Overall, Mikles said, she is pleased with the new sidewalks.

“With having kids, its proper etiquette to cross on corners,” Mikles said. “It will give them a place to ride bikes and a place to walk without being in the bike lane.”

Columbia-based construction company Emery Sapp & Sons are scheduled to complete the construction by Sept. 23.

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