Troy Public Works Director Vaughn Daniels, Tim Ramsey with CDG Engineers and Melissa Sanders, City Planning and Zoning administrator answer questions after a public hearing Tuesday morning about updating city sidewalks.
Troy Public Works Director Vaughn Daniels, Tim Ramsey with CDG Engineers and Melissa Sanders, City Planning and Zoning administrator answer questions after a public hearing Tuesday morning about updating city sidewalks.

Archived Story

Troy seeks grant approval to fund safe sidewalks project

Published 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.”


  • c74Grad

    Why must we tie everything in with Troy University?

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  • Mook

    I agree c74Grad. Everything that the City of Troy does seems to be in someway tied to Troy University. Granted that Troy is a university town but does everything we do have to be a referenced to Troy University. Don’t misunderstand me, I love the university and I support them, but let’s just look at all the apartments that has been built in Troy and who lives in them…TU Students mostly. I think it’s great to build up Troy but who can afford to pay $700, $800 even $1000 a month in rent besides students that pair up 4 & 5 to an appt. or house. What about your average single family that needs somewhere to stay but can’t afford that kind of rent. I’m just saying let’s think about someone other than students, which most of them their parents are footing the bills.

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  • Virtuous

    “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.” I’m glad the reviewing committee saw straight through this and denied the application!!! The Safe Routes to School Program is purposed for grades K-12…not college!! You’re trying to beautify, not bring safety, to Elm Street and the other streets surrounding and leading up to TU with a grant that should be applied for in regards to grades K-12…AND IT FAILED!!! That’s what you get!!!

    The Safe Routes to School Program is an excellent program You did this city and these children a HUGE disservice by trying to use it in connection with TU!!! That’s shameful to say the least!!!!!

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  • Observer

    The safe routes to school program was intended to protect elementary and secondary school children. This proposal is purely cosmetic, intended to improve the image of the local university. Strange that the sidewalks were good enough for the orphans but not for college students.
    When school starts back in August that cluster of students from the projects who dictate the location of the middle school will be walking to CHHS. They will first have to cross Gibbs St, then Elm Street and finally Wallace Drive – tripling the number of crossings from the past. Students walking to the high school from the south end of Wallace don’t have a sidewalk on the school side – only the university side has sidewalks all the way from 231.
    If the city really has any interest in protecting children on the way to an from school, it should be providing school bus transportation. Communities such as Ozark, Andalusia and Montgomery do. What public school systems the size of Troy’s do not?

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    • Virtuous

      Observer, how does “that cluster of students from the projects” dictate the location of the middle school?

      All the students you see walking to school do not live in Public Housing. You should see the “train-line” of cars coming through the Hubbard Street Site, on Aster Avenue, with parents dropping their kids off AND picking them up (on both ends) to walk the rest of the way to avoid the traffic. I say both ends because one entrance/exit is directly across the street from the Elementary School and the other one is is just up the street from the Middle School. Trust me, there are just as many kids, if not more, being dropped off as there are kids who actually live in Public Housing.

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  • Observer

    Although there was never any report of any public discussion by the school board, the word is that when the decisions were being made regarding the middle school proposals included building an entire new school somewhere near the sportsplex. That proposal was shot down because the children in the projects could not walk that far and the board was under the impression that it could be forced to bus students if it built a new school.

    The growth of population south of US 231 and the changed nature of the present location of the middle school would make building a new school near the sportsplex a great improvement – instead we are being set up for another 20-years or more of traffic snarl and train-lines of cars.

    If your observation that as many students are being dropped in that area as actually live in and walk from the project, the board was doubly mislead by thinking those children had to walk – if a new school were built on Enzor
    Rd (anticipating a connecting road from Enzor back to 231) there would be a rational traffic pattern which would allow parents to drop students at the door and move on expeditiously because there would not be all the traffic from TES, CHHS, TSU, etc., out there.

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    • Virtuous

      Public housing residents are not the only students who walk to school. In fact, there are families who live in the Hubbard Street area who transport their kids to and from school. Granted, those students wouldn’t be able to walk that far as we’ll as those who don’t live in public housing who walk. The board can say that’s the reason for not relocating the school to Enzor road but NOT WANTING to provide school buses, for whatever reason, is the issue. It’s ridiculous! The board has not been misled or misinformed. They just hear what they want to hear to get the results they want. Most times it works.

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