Town preps for sidewalk project

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An engineering firm is still putting together the design plans for the South Church Street sidewalk project, and when it does get underway, in the spring, it will be done with in-house labor.

Funds totaling $150,000 have been set aside to finance the project.

The funds came from Powell Bill Street Improvement money.

Town Manager Charles Brown said he hopes to have the final plans in hand by the end of the month.

Since the work is being done on a street maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation all work has to be coordinated with DOT authorities, Brown said.

There are also several areas along the project route that will require some cooperation from property owners.

“Right now, I am looking at getting this project underway sometime this spring,” Brown said.

The project calls for installation of a sidewalk on the east side of Church Street, from Franklin to Nelson Streets and then onto Hillsboro Street.

Eventually, the town manager said, plans are to extend it in the future on to Center Street.

It will create a network of sidewalks for pedestrian traffic to get to the downtown area.

The overall sidewalk project plans came from a street and sidewalk study that took more than a year to complete.

Once the project is underway, it could be completed within about three weeks, Brown said. However, since it is being done with in-house labor it is possible it could take longer.

“People need to understand that if our guys are working on a sidewalk project and there is a waterline break, or any other type situation like that they would have to be pulled off the sidewalk project to make the needed repairs elsewhere,” Brown explained.

He said once a project is underway and that type of situation develops people sometimes get frustrated.

“We have to prioritize sometimes,” he said.

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