The city should assess its entire sidewalk infrastructure before beginning repairs, Blue Springs Public Works director Chris Sandie suggested at Monday’s City Council work session.
“MoDOT requirements change every year,” said Sandie on repairing sidewalks. “Before we repair (sidewalks), we need to be in compliance.”
Sandie said Public Works wants to hire TranSystems, a transportation solution company, to analyze and quantify how many sidewalks are in need of repair. Not only will they be assessed for needed repairs, but also to ensure Blue Springs sidewalks meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, such as adding ramps or inclines to sidewalks that have high degree of pitch or elevation. Besides TranSystems meeting compliance, Sandie added they will “plan and program (sidewalk) improvements, form a grievance procedure and provide a couple ideas for improvement.”
“An internal GIS (geographical information system) integration will be implemented to locate specific sites needing repair,” he said.
In a memorandum by Assistant Director of Community Development James Holley, the sidewalk improvement project is budgeted at $1.18 million in the city’s 2014-15 Capital Improvement Program. The city funds sidewalk repair at a rate of $200,000 per year.
“TranSystems played this game before,” Sandie said of the company’s history. “They worked with three other entities associated with the Department of Justice.”
And instead of Public Works focusing on particular sections of the city with crumbling sidewalks, Mayor Ross said the third-party assessment will “strike balance between the three districts.”
A decision on how the city will address improving sidewalks should be expected at a future City Council meeting.