May 29—GLASTONBURY — In addition to scheduling a June 22 public information hearing on plans for the next phase of the big Main Street sidewalk construction project, the Town Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to move forward with initial design work on four smaller sidewalk projects.
Projects backed by the council for the first time on Tuesday would be on the east side of Main Street between Overlook Road and Buttonball Lane and along House Street between Hebron Avenue and the new multiuse trail along Salmon Brook, filling gaps in existing sidewalks.
In addition, the council reaffirmed its support for sidewalk projects on Spring Street and Bantle Road, which it initially approved last October.
Town Manager Richard J. Johnson explained later that the vote supports initial design work on the projects. When the design reaches "a certain level," he explained, the council can schedule public hearings on the projects, which will take place after affected property owners are notified.
After the public hearings, the council would vote on whether to go forward with construction of the sidewalks.
If the projects are approved, Johnson said, the town administration's goal is to build the sidewalks this construction season.
The Spring Street project has already been designed, and is estimated to cost $160,000, Johnson wrote in a letter to the council. He said a preliminary cost estimate for the Bantle Road project is also $160,000.
NEWLY APPROVED: On the east side of Main Street between Overlook Road and Buttonball Lane and along House Street between Hebron Avenue and the new multi-use trail along Salmon Brook, filling gaps in existing sidewalks.
REAFFIRMED: On Spring Street and Bantle Road
WHAT'S NEXT: Initial design of the sidewalks, followed by notification of affected property owners, public hearings, and Town Council votes
CONSTRUCTION: Possibly this year
The sidewalk on Main Street between Overlook Road and Buttonball Lane is estimated to cost $87,000, while the House Street project is estimated at $41,000.
The town currently has $195,000 available for sidewalk construction and has another $300,000 set aside for that purpose in its capital budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, for a total of $495,000, Johnson told the council.
If the current estimates for the four projects prove to be accurate, their cost would total $448,000, leaving $47,000 that could be used for the next phase of the big Main Street sidewalk construction project, which has a $750,000 budget but is expected to cost about $800,000.
The Main Street construction would be on the west side of the street between the Old Cider Mill and Main Street's intersection with Red Hill Drive and Chestnut Hill Road, connecting existing sections of sidewalk.
The council on Tuesday scheduled a June 22 public information hearing on options for that project. It presents construction difficulties because of steep slopes on the west side of the street, which may require cutting into the slope or moving the road to the east by as much as 9 feet.
One option that has been eliminated from consideration is building the Main Street sidewalk on the east side of the road. That would require pedestrians walking through the area to cross the street twice to get to and from existing sidewalks, which officials consider too dangerous.
The short section of sidewalk that is being considered on the east side of Main Street between Overlook Road and Buttonball Lane presents no such hazards because there is an existing sidewalk on the west side of the street in that area.
Johnson explained that the purpose of that new sidewalk would be to give people coming off the existing sidewalk on Overlook Road a route up to the big intersection where Buttonball Lane meets Main Street and the ramps to and from the limited access section of Route 17. He said a separate project is envisioned for a pedestrian crosswalk at that intersection.
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