Some motorists who use Second Avenue to commute downtown are not happy about the new concrete sidewalks along the major corridor while dodging cracks and pot holes on the busy four-lane road.
A reader said the Columbus Consolidated Government could spend its money more wisely on new asphalt for the crumbling roadway instead of new sidewalks.
“I am amused at the amount of work and money the city is spending along Second Avenue putting in sidewalks,” the reader said. “I have to wonder if any one of our city planners have ever driven Second Avenue? It is the main road into the city from J.R Allen and it’s akin to driving on a dirt road in some blocks of Second Avenue.”
There is no easy answer to these observations, because the city owns the right-of-way along the street while the road is considered a state route maintained by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
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Actually, the work is getting noticed almost a year after Columbus Council approved a new Second Avenue Overlay District, setting standards for the area from 18th Street north to Manchester Expressway. Sidewalks are required in the ordinance, helping play a role in providing a gateway entrance into Columbus and access for pedestrians.
Ryan Pruett, a project engineer with the Consolidated Government, said Robinson Paving Co. has just about completed a contract that called for 1,083 feet of new sidewalks in the 2900 block of the street. He described the area as one that didn’t have sidewalks and had a gap along the right-of-way where other sidewalks existed.
“With the amount of foot traffic, it was identified as a good place to put sidewalks in,” Pruett said.
The sidewalks are finished, but the contractor is now reseeding some disturbed areas along the walkway. The company also will build some slabs for bus stops.
An exact cost for the sidewalks wasn’t available Friday from the Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s office, but she said the sidewalks were part of a public infrastructure project funded by a Community Development Block Grant.
The new walkways are located in the low-income City Village area, which makes it eligible for the grant funding. Sidewalks were aimed at creating continuous pedestrian facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, she said in a statement.
Although sidewalks improve the aesthetics of the corridor, a state DOT spokeswoman said residents will have to wait a bit longer for resurfacing of the 3.5 mile stretch of road. At least 20,000 vehicles use the road daily.
“We know it will be this year,” said Kimberly Larson of the DOT. “We knew originally it was planned for the next couple of months to be let out for bid. With the temporary shutdown, we had to kind of realign some things. We know it’s coming. I can’t give you a definite date yet.”
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