Sykesville approves sidewalk to get 'children off the road'

August 16, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Prompted by concerns for children's safety, the Sykesville Town Council voted last week to approve construction of sidewalks along Third Avenue. A labor group has offered to do the work free as a training project.

"We want the children off the road and onto the sidewalks," said James L. Schumacher, town manager.

Many youngsters walk to Sykesville Middle School along the heavily traveled route connecting Obrecht Road to Route 32. The proposed sidewalk would run for a half-mile along the south side of the road.

The Laborers District Council Training Fund of Baltimore and Vicinity, a union-sponsored, nonprofit training facility, would donate the form work and pour and finish the concrete, Chairman Kenneth G. Raposa said.

"This would be an appropriate project for our trainees," Mr. Raposa said. "It would benefit the town children and contribute to their safety."

The sidewalks would provide "off-site training," said Charles Missouri, instructor at the facility. Classes of about 14 trainees learn construction work at the facility on Buttercup Road near Springfield Hospital Center in two-week sessions.

Under optimum conditions, pedestrians could be walking on the sidewalks by the end of October, Mr. Schumacher said.

"We could get a walkway built to school with free labor," said Councilman Jonathan Herman.

Impact fees collected from new homeowners in the Shannon Run and Hawk Ridge Farm developments that border Third Avenue will pay for the engineering and materials, Mr. Schumacher said, if the offer of free labor is accepted.

"This is one way we use impact fees to accommodate growth," Mayor Kenneth W. Clark said.

The job will go up for bids as soon as Bob Bond, the town engineer, develops the specifications.

"I asked for the specs by Aug. 27," Mr. Schumacher said.

The bids -- which would be with or without labor costs -- could be opened at the Sept. 13 council meeting.

Plans call for the construction of 2,500 feet of sidewalk and about 1,500 feet of curbing. Some curbing is already in place along Fairhaven Retirement Community.

The sidewalks would be set back 5 feet from the existing road from Norris Avenue, at Hawk Ridge Farm, to Springfield Avenue.

"We would like about a 20-foot width along the road for gutter, curb and walk," Mr. Schumacher said.

The town owns the right of way along most of the route and will seek building permits from three homeowners affected by the construction.

If estimates are too high, the construction would be done in two phases, Mr. Schumacher said.

"We are putting out the bids with alternate completion points," the town manager said.

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