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Sidewalk plans put on hold because price has doubled

June 05, 2004|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, PA.

A plan in the works for more than two years to build a nearly one-mile sidewalk along the south side of Pa. 16 connecting the Borough of Waynesboro to Washington Township is on indefinite hold because its cost has doubled.

Washington Township Manager Michael A. Christopher on Friday blamed the price hike on a design change by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The original price was $325,000 to build a walkway between Waynesboro Mall in the borough to Welty Road in the township that would lead to the Wayne Heights Mall.

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It was to be a simple concrete sidewalk about 5 feet wide. It would run from 5 feet to 10 feet from the edge of Pa. 16. Its path would take it through Renfrew Park and Museum and include a new footbridge over the East Branch of the Antietam Creek, which runs through the park.

The walkway also would run along property of the Waynesboro YMCA and Waynesboro Area School District where they meet at Second Street.

PennDOT officials now want the sidewalk to include a curb and gutter along Pa. 16 with a grass strip separating the curb and sidewalk, much like the sidewalk that runs along Waynesboro Mall, Christopher said. It also would require a storm drainage system.

The design changes raise the cost of the project to an estimated $674,000, he said.

The project, Christopher said, "is not necessarily killed. We need to find new funding sources."

Other options may be considered, he said.

One would be to reduce the length of the sidewalk and make it run only from Welty Road to Second Street.

"That would save about one-fourth of the cost," he said.

The source of the $325,000 original cost of the sidewalk came from a $260,000 federal grant and a grant secured by state Sen. Terry Punt, R-Waynesboro, Christopher said.

Most of the federal grant has been spent on "soft" expenses such as environment, historic, engineering and other studies.

Punt said last week that he would look into other funding sources, although he didn't know what they might be.

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