By Rich Place
Construction on a project originally scheduled for this summer that sought to improve several sidewalk and bicycle routes throughout the village is now expected to begin next spring.
The $434,000 Springville Bike-Walk Enhancement Project, most notably concentrated to Maple Avenue, was delayed following significant public input about the construction of new sidewalks on the north side of that street, according to village administrator Liz Melock.
“Everything was pushed later because of the public (input) and people not wanting sidewalks on the north side of Maple Avenue,” she said.
As a result, she said parts of the project had to be redesigned to determine how to utilize funds originally earmarked for that sidewalk’s construction. It’s estimated work to improve drainage at the corner of Newman and Elm street that was in preliminary plans as an alternate project can now be included in the base bid, she said.
“We are now waiting on final approval from (state) DOT to approve the final design,” Melock said, noting the project would likely go out to bid over the winter with work beginning next spring.
Although a section of new sidewalk was removed from original plans for the project, Maple Avenue remains the focus of the work. Among improvements will be upgrading the Spring Brook culvert between Colonial Drive and Spring Street and installation of a sidewalk there.
The sidewalk addition will create a complete walking route on the south side of the street from Newman Avenue to South Buffalo Street. There is currently no sidewalk on either side of the street at the culvert, which is located close to The Club of Springville, after the north sidewalk on the culvert was abandoned and is now closed.
Plans originally called for the construction of roughly 1,260 feet of new sidewalk on the north side of Maple Avenue from Spring Street to Elm Street and from Hilltop Drive to Newman Street.
“The public consensus up there was that they didn’t want them,” she said.
A section from Elm Street to Hilltop Drive was never scheduled to get new sidewalks because of the large bank and mature trees in the vicinity.
The public first commented on the plans during a hearing in mid-April. Officials from Watts Architecture and Engineering, which aided in the project’s design, were present and provided additional information and listened to public comments.
Included in the project’s preliminary plans are bicycle enhancements that would see six wooden bollards installed in Shuttleworth Park and 10 bicycle racks throughout the village.
Bid alternates originally discussed at that hearing and still included in the plans are pedestrian-friendly work at the Franklin Street and Central Avenue intersection, the planting of about 30 trees throughout the village and potential sidewalk work on South Buffalo Street.
The South Buffalo Street work, from Springville Youth Inc. to Woodward Avenue, originally included moving the sidewalk further from the street but Melock said the updated version of the project now expands the sidewalk by a foot while installing curbing to deter commuters from parking vehicles in that area.
The project is funded by a grant, with 80 percent of the grant coming from federal money through the state DOT as part of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).
The original schedule was for work on Maple Avenue to take place during the summer months to avoid having to detour school buses. Work at the culvert is expected to take about a month to complete and a detour will be posted, according to officials at the mid-April meeting.