Construction begins on east-central Columbia sidewalks Monday

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | 8:44 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A $307,500 effort to improve sidewalks in an 18-block area of east-central Columbia will begin Monday.

The project marks the third phase of a three-year project designed to bring the city's walkways up to date with standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sidewalks that will be affected are along Locust, Waugh, Windsor, Melbourne, Ripley and William streets, Bass Avenue and Broadway, according to a news release from the Public Works Department.

The targeted sidewalks were selected "because of the proximity of facilities such as Freedom House, Paquin Tower, Boone County Family Resources and links to the university, colleges, parks and Boone Hospital," according to a July 2 memo to the City Council from Public Works Director John Glascock.

Windsor Street resident Julian McFarland learned about the construction Wednesday.

"I know they need to improve a lot of the sidewalks in town for those in wheelchairs," McFarland said. "If you're disabled, it's kind of hopeless getting to certain areas on certain streets due to the sidewalk conditions."

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant program. The grant is given to communities "to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services," according to the deparment's website.

The first two phases of sidewalk replacement included sections of Walnut Street, Broadway and College Avenue.

Public Works hopes to have construction completed by November, weather permitting.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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