Print Cottonwood, Clarkdale improve sidewalks
Written by {ga=tsteers}   
Thursday, 23 February 2012 00:00

Getting around is getting much easier thanks to several sidewalk projects and roadway redesigns.

Completion of the sidewalks along State Route 89A from Blackhills Drive in Cottonwood to Clarkdale Parkway in Clarkdale is the latest in a string of projects planned by both communities.

Cottonwood city and Clarkdale town staff worked with the Arizona Department of Transportation to plan the State Route 89A project.

“We’ve gotten so much positive feedback. We’re quite happy,” Clarkdale Director of Utilities and Public Works Wayne Debrosky said.

Soon, both ends of the new sidewalks will connect other parts of the two municipalities making walking and biking an option for navigating the area.

“Outdoors is key to building community,” said Jodi Filardo, community and economic development director for Clarkdale. “We see sidewalks as one method by which you can meet your neighbors.”

Cottonwood Projects

Connecting existing stretches of sidewalk and overhauls of Mingus Avenue and N. 10th Street top the list of Cottonwood projects dedicated to alternative modes of transportation.

Cottonwood City Council asked staff to work on filling in gaps in current sidewalk infrastructure, particularly in Old Town, according to Dan Lueder, the city’s development services general manager.

City inspectors spent the slow winter months creating an inventory of areas without sidewalks and sidewalks needing repair to give staff a better idea of where funds should be spent. Council budgeted $130,000 for construction and repair of these sidewalks in 2012, Lueder said, and he plans to spend all of the money to get things up to speed in late May or early June.

In two to three weeks, Lueder said the city hopes to go out to bid for the first round of improvements on W. Mingus Avenue from State Route 89A to Willard Street. Construction could start as early as April.

The city spent the past several months acquiring property right-of-way and has one easement left to attain before seeking bids, Lueder said. The project includes construction of a new three-lane road consisting of a northbound, southbound and turning lane; curb, gutter and sidewalk running the entire length of the road; bike lanes; undergrounding utilities including a reclaimed water line to gravity feed effluent to Garrison Park and area schools to water grass; a right-turn lane at the State Route 89A stoplight; and construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Willard Street and Mingus Avenue.

The roundabout will be built between the last day of school at Cottonwood Elementary and Cottonwood Middle schools and the first day of classes in August, Lueder said. Mingus Avenue will be one of the nicer areas in Cottonwood.

Then, in 2013 funding from the Northern Arizona Council of Governments may make it possible for more Mingus Avenue repairs and upgrades to be constructed from Willard Street to N. 10th Street, including consideration of a stoplight at Mingus Avenue and Sixth Street.

“Hopefully within two years Mingus will be completely redone,” Lueder said.

Also in the area, N. 10th Street from Mingus Avenue to N. Main Street will receive new sidewalks and bicycle lanes thanks to a Community Development Block Grant.

Clarkdale Projects

Dave Langdon makes use of the new sidewalks along State Route 89A in Clarkdale on  Jan. 4. Langdon said he appreciated the safety to pedestrians offered by the new sidewalks which run along both sides of the road. The project is expected to be completed in February.Town staff took a look around town and identified areas where residents were forced to walk on the road to determine important sidewalk and bike lane projects, Debrosky said.

“We realize more and more people are doing things outside,” Debrosky said. When there isn’t anywhere for people to walk other than the street, it creates traffic and safety hazards.

Next up for the town is extending the new State Route 89A sidewalks to the Clarkdale Town Park, a Safe Routes to School project and work on lower N. Broadway.

Debrosky recently met with an engineer to determine scope and design for a pedestrian path and bike lanes on Clarkdale Parkway from State Route 89A to Main Street. Both sides of the road will receive a two-foot asphalt extension and striping for bike lanes. The location of the pedestrian path is yet to be determined, but Debrosky said staff has some ideas to discuss.

The Safe Routes to School funding will be used to improve sidewalks around Clarkdale-Jerome School, upgrade crosswalks and stripe bike lanes from the school to Clarkdale Town Park.

Debrosky also said the town is looking at ways to include a pedestrian pathway from the Yavapai-Apache Nation reservation in Clarkdale to the school.

“We realize there are a lot of children who walk up to the school from the reservation,” Debrosky said.

Town staff met with engineers Feb. 2 and has ADOT approval, so construction is expected to begin soon.

In late spring, the town hopes to start on a N. Broadway project to construct sidewalks from the railroad station to Main Street using a Community Development Block Grant, according to Debrosky. The project will include stand-alone off-grid solar streetlights to light the sidewalk at night.