Sidewalk project in design stage

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Town officials are still waiting on engineering design specifics for the installation of sidewalks along a three-block stretch of South Church Street.

Much of that work has already been completed for the anticipated $150,000 project.

The engineering firm undertaking the work is McGill & Associates.

Town Manager Charles Brown said the engineering firm has already done the preliminary work and begun the surveying work.

He said it will probably be early January when the final engineering work for the project is completed.

Even with completion of all the planning, the town manager said the work will not get underway until sometime in the spring.

He said although $150,000 has been set aside through state allocated Powell Bill monies, the actual expense will be considerably less because it is a project that will be undertaken with in-house public works labor.

The town manager said using in-house efforts will cut the anticipated expense by about a third.

The plans call for the installation of sidewalks on the east side of South Church Street from Franklin north to Hillsboro Street.

A second phase, still in the planning stage, is to install more sidewalks from Hillsboro over to South Center Street.

That work is planned for the next fiscal year.

It all came from recommendation of a detailed sidewalk and bike trail study conducted by the state.

It was a near two-year study before the current work was approved by the town board of commissioners.

The project is designed to provide better pedestrian access to the downtown area.

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