Charleston considering sidewalk upgrades

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CHARLESTON, Ill. (WAND)- The Charleston City Council is set to discuss planned upgrades to several miles of sidewalk at a meeting Tuesday.

Of the city’s 79 miles of sidewalk, roughly 6 percent are listed in “poor” condition, said city engineer Curt Buescher.

“When I talk to people, they want good sidewalks and good streets,” Buescher said. “Obviously they don’t want potholes, but if it’s a decent street, they want me to focus on the sidewalks.”

The council is set to vote on a resolution to support repairing four miles of sidewalks over about two years. Money for the roughly $650,000 project would come from federal block grants earmarked for projects in Charleston, explained City Planner Steve Pamperin.

The improvements would make the city more accessible to people with disabilities and others, Pamperin and Buescher explained.

“We look at our transportation, in addition to cars, as people and bikes, and anything we can do to become more pedestrian friendly, more bike friendly, those are projects we’re really trying to get after,” Pamperin said.

Work on the project could begin as early as this fall, pending state approval of the funds, Pamperin said.

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