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Council approves engineering services for Alabama 25 sidewalk project

MONTEVALLO – A resolution the Montevallo City Council approved on Jan. 11 marks another step forward in the sidewalk project on Alabama 25.

The resolution allows the mayor to execute an agreement for professional engineering services with Garver USA for the sidewalks, which are part of an ongoing project outlined in Montevallo’s current comprehensive plan to improve the busy Alabama 25 corridor.

“As one of the primary commercial areas in the city, the economic vitality along Highway 25 is currently impeded by several vacant and underutilized commercial strip centers and inadequate pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,” the plan reads. “To improve the city’s primary commercial corridor, this plan recommends that the city work to enhance pedestrian access and safety between downtown Montevallo and the Highway 25 corridor, develop streetscape improvements along Highway 25, plan for infill development, and explore the feasibility of a new community center with tornado shelter to enhance the quality of life and safety of citizens in the community.”

The contract with Garver is for $107,750 and will be paid by the Montevallo Development Cooperative District, Mayor Rusty Nix said.

Councilmember Lelia Mitchell expressed concerns about a lack of lighting in multiple areas where people could be walking around the city.

“I think we need to address that as well,” Mitchell said. “We want to make sure everybody is safe.”

The following are listed in the comprehensive plan as improvements to be explored:

  • Extending the sidewalk network from Alabama 119/Selma Road at Railroad Avenue to Alabama 25.
  • Extending the sidewalk network along Middle Street from Morgan Street to Alabama 25.
  • Providing safe pedestrian crosswalks at the intersections of Alabama 25 with Alabama 119/Selma Road, Shelby Street and Middle Street.
  • Providing safe pedestrian crossings at the railroad crossings on Alabama 119/Selma Road and Shelby Street.
  • Providing safe pedestrian crossings over the Middle Street and Shelby Street bridges.

“The lack of pedestrian infrastructure, such as sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals, has created a safety hazard for those people who try and walk to businesses along Highway 25 or for those people who simply do not have reliable access to an automobile and must cross the three-lane highway and then the railroad line to get to the downtown Montevallo area,” the plan reads. “Pedestrians have recently been killed walking across Highway 25. During the public input process of this plan, this need and desire to improve pedestrian access and safety across Highway 25 to downtown Montevallo was repeatedly noted during public involvement and is a high priority to the city.”

In other business, the council:

  • Held the first reading of the revised Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance Section 10-31 regarding violations, imposition of penalty not to excuse violation, continuing violations and removal of prohibited conditions.
  • Approved a resolution to enact emergency paid sick leave for city employees through March 31, 2020, extending for another quarter the provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that expired Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Approved a recommendation to allot $1,700 for wind fencing at the baseball field at Orr Park. The funding will come from the city’s parks and recreation budget and from the general fund.

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