Workers move around Huntington City installing new sidewalks.
Huntington City is sporting some new sidewalks around town and the best thing about it is two of the projects were at no cost to the city. City council member Gerald Livingston said the west side of town is finished for this year and the crew has begun work on the east side of town. There are four separate projects in all.
One project has been the American Disabilities Act approach ramps along Main Street. These wheelchair accessible ramps have been placed at four intersections along Main Street and that project is complete for now. It is hoped to be able to continue these accessible ramps in the future along Main Street. Livingston said, "This project for the ADA ramps has been completed through grants from the Utah Department of Transportation and didn't cost the city anything. All of the engineering, labor and material costs were included in the grant. In another project, government stimulus money is being used to install sidewalk from the Village Inn motel along SR-10 to the Desert Edge Christian Chapel. That project is being worked on now and will be completed this fall.
"Next spring another project called the Safe Routes to School will fund sidewalks along 100 West within two blocks of the Huntington Elementary school. This is also a project which will be completed with grant money. The Safe Routes to Schools provides monies for sidewalks to allow children a safe route to walk to school.
"The other sidewalk projects on the west and east side of town are being completed with Community Impact Board monies. We received a half grant/half loan in the amount of $660,000. This is a no interest loan," said Livingston.
Sidewalks are installed where curb and gutter already exists in Huntington. The sidewalks are meant to be a big safety improvement for the city. They are designed to help keep children out of the streets when they walk or ride their bikes.
"I have noticed on the west side of town, people are beginning to use the sidewalks. It will take awhile for them to get used to having sidewalks to use, but we feel it is a big safety improvement for our town. Sidewalks are also being installed along the new road that leads to the Canyon View Junior High. This will allow much more accessibility for the junior high students and add to their safety accessing the junior high. It will help alleviate the traffic congestion problems around the school.
"For the most part we have received positive feedback from the citizens. There have been some complaints because residents have had to move sprinkling systems, but for the most part people feel positively about the changes. Center Street will receive sidewalks all the way. We are doing about twice as much sidewalk as we originally intended because the price of materials has decreased this past year. We will just take that $660,000 and go until it runs out. We will finish everything for this year in October and then start again in the spring. The completion of the sidewalks will add to the aesthetics and beauty of our city and most of it was free so you can't complain about that. It's really been a good deal. A lot of cities charge the property owner for the sidewalk and improvements, but we aren't doing that. We have found the grants out there that are available and utilized them for these improvements. Remember not to park on the sidewalks and don't block the sidewalks. The property owners will be responsible for the snow removal on the sidewalk in front of their home or business. If you are elderly and in need of assistance, then call the city hall and let them know. It is important for safety that all snow be removed from sidewalks.
"We also want to remind our city residents of the dumpsters behind the ball complex that are going to be there year-round. The fall clean-up is coming up from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and tree limbs and branches will be removed from city streets during that time.
"Overall getting the new sidewalks has been a good, positive experience and the people are excited for the new sidewalks," said Livingston.