CDBG sidewalk project about to start on Manitou Blvd.

       Sidewalks will be coming soon to a nearly half-mile segment of Manitou Boulevard.

The sidewalk ends now as pedestrians walking downhill pass the fifth house up from Chestnut Street on the north (east) side of Manitou Boulevard.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Don Sides, the development manager for the city's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, said a $145,592 contract has been awarded to Alco Construction to complete concrete paths along both sides of the well-used residential road between Chestnut and Monument streets.
       “We're probably looking at the first week of October” for crews to start work, Sides said.
       Currently, there is only sidewalk on part of the north (east) side of the street, between Praderia Avenue (next to the Boys & Girls Club) and the fourth house up from Chestnut.
       Club activites help make Manitou Boulevard busier than a typical residential street, Sides pointed out. The road also has a large church, provides access to the Promontory Point Open Space (off Praderia) and has become a shortcut between Uintah Street and the Near Westside/downtown area.
       With such traffic, “we felt there was a real need for the project,” Sides said.
       In addition to new sidewalk, the work will also require construction of a retaining wall in front of a steep area on the north (east) side of the street just above Chestnut, and (where needed) repair of street curbs and the existing sidewalk, he said.
       About 90 days is the estimated time for completion, Sides estimated.
       The design does not call for any narrowing of Manitou. In most cases the city owns the right of way along the curb, even though many residents may not have known it and in some cases had landscaped elaborately up to the curb. Sides said that in such cases “we'll work with folks and put it [their landscaping] back as nice or nicer. We'll move plants for them, or plant new plants for them.”
       CDBG funds come from the federal government. They are disbursed to neighborhood strategy associations (NSAs), established by the city in areas with lower income levels and older public infrastructure. The Westside has been an NSA since the program began 30-some years ago.
       Planning for the project has taken place over the past two years. Meetings have been held with the neighborhood and individual residents. “The majority are happy,” Sides said.

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