E. State walkway project slated

SALEM – Construction of a new sidewalk on the north side of East State Street from Wendy’s to North Cunningham Road and over to the Walmart area will begin June 23, with completion expected in September.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst reported a pre-construction meeting was held this week to discuss the details of the project with Central Allied Enterprises of Canton, the low bidder awarded the construction contract.

Kenst said he contacted all the businesses along the route which could be affected by the construction to make them aware of the start date and what the project will entail.

“There should not be any disruption of their businesses,” he said, adding they’ll be notified ahead of time if it becomes necessary.

The idea behind the sidewalk is to improve access to the stores for people walking. Mayor John Berlin previously said it’s a safety issue for people walking along State Street to Walmart and other businesses.

Originally, the sidewalk was part of a larger project planned by the Ohio Department of Transportation in 2007 that included redoing all the sidewalk intersections downtown related to the Americans With Disabilities Act. The project was never done and the sidewalk was separated out as a free-standing project in 2012, with money from ODOT granted last year.

ODOT’s portion of the cost totals $255,000, with the city’s share at $79,158 coming from capital improvements. The city had to pay at least 20 percent of the construction cost and pay for 100 percent of the design costs. The low bid from Central Allied was $263,196.

Kenst explained that the project actually begins with the curb ramps at the corners near GetGo and Arby’s being redone. The sidewalk begins near Wendy’s on the north side of East State Street and continues to North Cunningham, then crosses the street and goes south on the east side of Cunningham to the Walmart driveway and east along the south side of State Street in front of Dunkin’ Donuts to the East State Street entrance of Walmart, with curb ramps at the intersections.

Due to the steepness of the terrain by Jalisco’s Restaurant, he said there will be a retaining wall in that area.

All together, there will be 2,164 feet of sidewalk installed. The project is expected to last 90 days.