Last week, I received several questions about the Sidewalk Project on Main Street. With those questions in mind, here are some answers about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance and the new Sidewalk Project.
The current sidewalk work is a State project to address ADA compliance in the Town of Marlinton. The State ADA coordinator described the previously constructed ramps as being either too narrow, too steep, or both.
At first, I expected the extended corners to be removed. That will not happen. Setting back the lampposts would be too costly. So, the corners will remain as they are. This project is a $258,000 improvement to Marlinton, with no costs to the Town. Any time the Town can accept a paid-for project, it is more than worth some temporary inconvenience. The State has provided the engineering, the inspectors and the contractor.
When first notified of the project, I asked the contractor to put off beginning major work until July 15, the Monday following Pioneer Days. Also, I requested leaving no mess for the weekends. In other words, keep new pours as close to demo as possible. That had been accomplished until last weekend, on the corner at the Presbyterian Church.
I apologize for any Sunday morning inconvenience.
Thrasher Engineering has an inspector on site and DOH has two state inspectors. The construction company has a Projector Supervisor and an on-site foreman. The Mayor and/or Building Inspector are both in contact and have requested as-built drawings at the end of the project.
Elevations and slope required some new design at First Avenue and the end of the bridge. Some additional work has already been discussed.
However, another ramp at the end of the sidewalk by the mini park or a sidewalk to connect the Wellness Center to the Greenbrier River Trail is beyond the scope of the contract and should not be expected.
Questions that prompted this summary had to do with Marlinton Town Council’s authorization to proceed and seemed to have been confused with an application for a sidewalk engineering study for Second and Third avenues and Ninth Street. The application for a $50,000 grant was made under the previous council. Region 4 will continue handling that grant application. We will know the status of the application later in the fall.
Neither that application nor the Town Council had anything to do with this current Sidewalk Project.
This project was bid through the State of West Virginia.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 defines a “trip hazard” as any vertical change of over 1/4 inch or more at any joint or crack. Since the ADA demands strict compliance, trip hazards represent a legal liability to our Town and citizens. Cities, school districts, hospitals, private communities, shopping malls, universities, apartment complexes and other property owners should all be extremely concerned with this liability.
On November 17, 2017, I asked Precision Safe Sidewalks to come to Marlinton to survey the sidewalks in the Business District. Specifically, we walked Eighth Street from First to Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street from Second to 10th Avenue. The connecting blocks of Second and Third avenues between Eighth and Ninth streets were included.
During this walk-through five defects were noted at Marlinton United Methodist Church and nine in the area of the courthouse. We observed that much of the sidewalk infrastructure in the surveyed area was in generally good structural condition and an ideal candidate for application of the company’s precision-concrete-cutting repair method. It is a patented process of shaving off the trip hazard rather than replacing entire sections.
The 2017 proposal included removal of 51 of the worse sidewalk trip and fall hazards in the surveyed areas. The corrections would have met ADA and OSHA requirements, for a cost of $5,217. The repairs were priced at $2.34 per square foot and would have saved thousands of dollars versus complete demolition and replacement. It was not all we wanted. But it was something the Town could afford.
The previous council denied my request and, as Granddad would have said, “I drove on.”
Now that it is known that the Main Street project is a State project, I wonder if the State will be scrutinized about the integrity and scope of work, as critically as the Town has been.
In another matter, I had asked a local concrete finisher for an estimate regarding the entry step at the Municipal Building and will check with him again.