Sidewalk nearly finished

Published 4:31 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

In the coming weeks, walkers along South Boulevard will have a smoother path that reaches from the southern end of Alco Drive to Persimmon Street in downtown Brewton.
City Clerk John Angel said the work is moving along nicely and could be finished in just a short time.
“The work is moving along as well as we expected,” Angel said. “If the work continues on the current schedule, we expect the work to be completed in the very near future.”
Although Angel said there was not a specific deadline date for the work to be completed, work remaining in the plan could move swiftly.
“The work being done now is reaching a point where there will be minimal prep work required,” Angel said. “The sidewalk won’t be layed across driveways or parking lots and it won’t span the Burnt Corn Creek Bridge. With that in mind and in the area being reached in the progress, we expect to see things finished up rather quickly.”
Angel said plans show the newly constructed sidewalk will tie into an existing sidewalk on Persimmon Street when work is done.
“We already have a sidewalk in place along Persimmon Street at Burnt Corn Park,” Angel said. “The new sidewalk will tie in somewhere in the vacinity of the old Shell station at the end of Persimmon Street. That will create the entire sidewalk from downtown to the end of Alco Drive on South Boulevard.”
Angel said the sidewalk is being constructed at relatively small costs to the city, thanks to federal stimulus funding.
“We were one of five cities to get this kind of grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus money,” Angel said. “The design for the sidewalks was not covered under the grant. That was something the city had to pay for with our own funds. That cost was $12,000.”
The nearly $350,000 in funds from AARA was more than enough to do the work, Angel said. Any funds remaining unused by the project will go to the State of Alabama.
“We actually had an under run on costs for the project,” Angel said. “Of the $349,962 we received, we have returned $65,000 to the state. We were about $90,000 under, but we needed to retain something to pay for completion of the project.”
Angel said the State of Alabama is getting any other extra funds not used by a total of five cities who received similiar funding for projects.
“We were one of five cities to receive funding through ARRA for projects,” Angel said. “Any monies not used by any of the cities in their projects goes to the State. They are raking in the extra funds.”
Starfish, Inc., of Brewton, won the bid for the work and has been moving steadily toward completion, Angel said.
Drivers along south-bound lanes of Southern Boulevard/U.S. 31 should use caution with the outside lane being closed during normal working hours during the coming weeks.