Livingston sidewalk project ‘provisionally approved’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

Residents of Livingston who like to make their daily commute on foot will soon have a more suitable way of doing so. Funding has been approved to help the city make much needed repairs to some sidewalks around town.

Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt said the project was something they had looked at for some time and was pleased they would be able to make the needed repairs.

“A couple of years ago we identified two or three areas in town that were in desperate need of sidewalks,” Tartt said. “One of them was on Alabama Highway 28 East and we did that project first. The other big project we looked at was connecting Alabama 28 East to about city limits.”

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When Tartt and the council originally began to look at the project they found the expenses to be more than they could sacrifice. An answer to the funding soon came with a little help from Sentell Engineering as they pointed out the city would be eligible for Transportation Enhancement Grants.

Jim Grubbs, a representative of Sentell, met with the council Monday to bring them good news.

“You have been provisionally approved for funding,” Grubbs said. “There will be a meeting soon in Grove Hill that a city representative will attend.”

Grubs said when they met the proper forms would be sent to the federal government for approval.

“Once that is done they will send the paperwork off to federal highway,” Grubbs said. “Federal highway will send back an agreement, which is the same type of agreement they had two years ago. You will actually sign the agreement with federal highway for these transportation funds.”

Grubbs said the grant would not alleviate the entire financial burden for the city. He said there were still some expenses the city would take on.

“The reason the funds are attractive in one way and not attractive in another way is that they cover the construction costs only,” Grubbs said. “You have to cover the engineering. That being the case, once you have the pre-agreement in March they will tell you to go ahead and hire an engineer.”

Grubbs said the processes surrounding approvals and hires could take more time than most think. He said the work itself could be a year away.

“There are a lot of time frames involved and you could very well be looking at money being drawn out of your 2006 budget instead of 2005,” Grubbs said.

Grubbs said when the work begins they will be shooting for consistency. He said the main objective was to make sure the new sidewalk matched the other sections.

“What we have put in there is for a basic four-foot wide sidewalk,” Grubbs said. “It will match up well with what you have downtown so that when you come in from the East side you will come into a nice area of sidewalk that will lead into a nice area.”

Tartt said there were still other areas that he hoped to see paved. Grubbs informed the council that the grants were available each year and they could apply freely.