Sidewalk project under way

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.

A capital project to widen a 1.1- mile stretch of sidewalk on Southeast 15th Street is being done as part of the Alachua County Bicycle/Pedestrian Mobility Plan.

The project, which will cost $450,000, will consist of replacing the existing four-feet concrete sidewalk on the east side of Southeast 15th Street between 14th and 34th avenues with an eight-feet multi-use concrete sidewalk, said Brian Singleton, Alachua County transportation engineering manager.

Singleton said the project is being funded by a $.5-cent local gas tax, 10 percent of which is earmarked for bicycle/pedestrian capital projects.

The first phase of the project, which included drainage work, was completed last November. Phase two of the project, which will include installing the sidewalk and new grass, began in January and is scheduled to be completed in May. The work is being done by Alachua County construction crews. The project was number three on the county’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Work Program priority list.

“The commission decides which multi-modal connectivity projects get done,” said Singleton, adding that multi-modal connectivity projects provide routes for cyclists and pedestrians to connect to other roads throughout the county.

Doris Edwards, chairwoman of the Lincoln Estates Watch Committee, said the sidewalk improvement will add value to the neighborhood.

“Oftentimes, when we get something, it is just a little something to please us,” Edwards said. “But this project is huge. They have already cleaned out the ditch and will be putting down new grass. The project will also make it safer for our kids and people who walk and bike down that sidewalk.”

Edwards said the project also entails something specified in the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization’s adopted Livable Community Reinvestment Plan that was added to Plan East Gainesville, a comprehensive economic revitalization plan that includes balancing environmental preservation, land development and improved transportation mobility in east Gainesville.

“This is a part of Plan East Gainesville’s master plan as a bicycle and pedestrian beltway/greenway,” Edwards said.

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