Troy seeks grant approval to fund safe sidewalks projectPublished 11:00pm Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The City of Troy is one step closer to obtaining a grant that would allow sidewalks along Elm Street to be upgraded for safety after a public hearing on the matter Tuesday morning.
Tim Ramsden, with CDG Engineers, along with Public Works Director Vaughn Daniels and City Planning and Zoning Administrator Melissa Sanders, hosted the forum to explain more about the planned improvements and the Transportation Alternative Program grant that would allow for the changes.
“I think there are more people here than all the other public hearings I’ve done combined,” Ramsden said to about a dozen people who came to listen and ask questions.
Ramsden explained that, after the public hearing, the next step in the process is to apply for a TAP grant of $400,000. The money comes from federal funds but is distributed through the Alabama Department of Transportation, Ramsden explained.
“There is a maximum amount of money DOT will give us and it is an 80/20 match,” Ramsden said.
That means that if the city were to be awarded the full amount requested, they would match the funding by 20 percent, or $100,000. Any cost above $500,000 would be the city’s responsibility.
“What we are proposing to do is to replace the concrete sidewalks with a brick paver sidewalk,” Ramsden said. “We really want to tie the city in with the university.”
That would be done through the color of the brick and the possible addition of decorative Trojan heads placed near intersections.
“It should be a very pretty project,” Ramsden said.
The new sidewalks would be placed in the footprint of existing sidewalks so as not to increase project costs. It would be more expensive to move nearby water meters and utility lines, Ramsden noted.
The project will run on one side of the road from South Brundidge Street to Academy Street and on the other side, from South Brundidge to College Drive. And, although there are no plans for landscaping at the moment, Ramsden did discuss the possibility of planning for tree planting along the route in the future if funding becomes available.
“What we were trying to do is stretch the sidewalk money as far as we could,” Ramsden explained.
Ramsden also noted that the project is part of a larger plan the city has to connect areas via sidewalks. The city formerly applied for a Safe Routes to Schools grant that would have connected Elm Street all the way to George Wallace Drive, but the grant was not approved.
Although the city is applying for the grant now, it could take up to two years to see the project completed.
“It’s not something that will happen very quickly,” Ramsden said. “When you go through government agencies, it can take a lot longer than what you might think.”