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New London considers sidewalk upgrades

The sidewalks on North Water and Pearl streets may have a coninuous dark gray terrace with a brick patter in select areas. Photo Courtesy of the city of New London

Upgrades planned for downtown

By Robert Cloud

Pedestrians may see a long strip of continuous dark grey concrete for the terraces adjacent to sidewalks on North Water and Pearl streets following reconstruction in 2024.

At its July 10 meeting, the New London Public Works Board voted 9-0 to recommend the decorative sidewalk and terrace design.

Public Works Director Robert Garske reviewed results from the city’s social media survey regarding sidewalk design options.

Garske told the board that Facebook generated 826 responses and Instagram garnered 34 responses.

He said 69% of the responses favored dark grey concrete terraces and 77% favored having a design stamped into the concrete. The most popular design was a brick pattern.

The dark grey terraces will cost about $2 more per square foot than regular concrete, while they will cost about $3 more per square foot if stamped with a design.

If the city chooses to make the terraces dark grey with a stamped design for the entire length of the project it would add an estimated $34,000 to the cost.

“These are approximations based off the information that we have right now,” Garske said.

The board decided that only select sections of the terrace will be stamped with the brick design since the reconstruction project also includes planter boxes and trees along the terrace.

Some board members raised concerns about winter ice freezing and thawing in the grooves of the brick pattern and causing damage.

Garske said the indentations in the pattern were not deep enough to hold water that could damage the concrete.

The sidewalk proposal will go before the Common Council.

Change orders

The Public Works Board also authorized Garske to make change orders up to $75,000 for the 2023 sewer, water and street construction projects in downtown New London.

“I do not want to hold up the project if we have a bunch of items, smaller ones, that come up in a short period of time where I cannot get back to the board to ask for that money and then we have to schedule it out,” Garske said. “I just don’t want to delay the project by any means.”

Garske was given authority to approve $50,000 in work change orders for Wolf River Avenue utility reconstruction project.

The board also approved an additional $94,616 for updating the engineering proposal for the North Pearl Street project.

The initial proposal only covered 30% of the project’s plans, specifications and cost estimates.

City Administrator Chad Hoerth said the city had originally planned to do the entire project, including North Water and Pearl streets, all at once.

However, after speaking with downtown business owners, the city decided to delay the Pearl Street section of the project.

McMahon’s additional fees will cover the engineering costs, including detailed documents needed for construction bids, for the completion of North Pearl Street from the bridge to Waupaca Street.

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