Relief may be on the way for the 40 students who dodge traffic every morning while walking down Ivey Street to Lynwood Avenue to catch the bus to school. Under a plan being considered by the Richmond Hill City Council, that stretch of road would get sidewalks, along with 12 other areas in the city.
Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Director Scott Allison and city engineer Chris Stovall presented the city council at its meeting Tuesday with a sidewalk master plan and gap analysis. The analysis outlined areas in the city that need sidewalks and other areas where a gap in sidewalk availability exists.
“This is an analysis of where existing sidewalks are, where pedestrian needs are and how to connect the dots,” Allison said.
Allison said the list is a beginning point that would likely be refined as time goes on. The list, as presented, would total more than $5.7 million.
One of those areas of need is connecting the sidewalk that ends just north of the entrance to Parkside Subdivision off Ivey Street and running it to Ford Avenue. That would allow the morning walkers to catch their school bus without having to face traffic on Ivey Street. That construction project, with concomitant drainage improvements, is estimated to cost $286,000.
Other areas on the master plan included:
- Ford Avenue West: Rushing Street, Richmond Place infill at a projected cost of $148,000.
- Hwy. 17 North from Ford Avenue to Mulberry Subdivision, projected cost of $189,000.
- Hwy. 17 South from Ford Avenue to White Oak Subdivision, projected cost of $266,000.
- Hwy. 17 South from White Oak Subdivision to Harris Trail Road, projected cost of $3,482,000, which includes a pedestrian bridge.
- Harris Trail to Main Street Subdivision at a projected cost of $150,000.
Harris Trail Road South and Piercefield Subdivision at a projected cost of $129,000.
Harris Trail Road North – school to Timber Trail at a projected cost of $261,000.
Timber Trail Road from Harris Trail Road to the ballfields at a projected cost of $208,000.
Easement purchase from Harris Trail Road to ballfields at a projected cost of $292,000.
Harris Trail Road north to Cypress at a projected cost of $165,000.
Port Royal and Sterling Links Way at a cost of $171,000.
Allison was quick to point out that this list was a beginning point and it is likely the list could see deletions or additions as the council sets the priority. Assistant planning and zoning director Randy Dykes said the funding for the sidewalk construction and drainage improvements would come from Special Local Options Sales Tax funds. Allison said the projected costs are not firm and there remain a lot of “unknowns” that will be firmed up as the priorities are determined.
He did say the projected costs were for construction only and did not include extras such as decorative streetlights or benches.
“My intention is for the council to mull this over and prioritize the list,” Allison said.
The planning director told the city council that the width of the sidewalks would vary from four to eight feet wide with the narrower widths used to infill existing sidewalks and the wider widths set for new sidewalks on busier roads.
“The time for design and construction could be about two months on city streets. It could take up to six months on state roads,” Stovall said.
Mayor Harold Fowler told the council to “think it over and where you want to start.”
The council also approved a work detail contract renewal with the Georgia Department of Corrections at a cost of $39,500. The contract calls for a maximum of work detail of up to 10 offenders and a supervising correctional officer. The work detail will be available to the city four days a week up to 10 hours per day. The work detail has been used in the past for maintenance and other street projects. That usage will likely continue under the new contract.