Bernadette Drive may see new sidewalk soon

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COLUMBIA - Residents might feel safer on the slight slope on Bernadette Drive, east of Ash Street to Tiger Line, as the city is proposing to build a sidewalk along it.

The City of Columbia Public Works Department hosted an interested parties meeting on Tuesday to present design concepts for the Bernadette Drive project. The total construction would cost an estimated $66,000, funded through the 2010 Enterprise Revenue Funds.

The concept design includes a 6 foot-wide sidewalk, approximately 650 feet long. The sidewalk would have ADA ramp modifications.

The concept design of the Bernadette Drive Sidewalk Project. The shaded area is where the proposed sidewalk will be made.

*Above: The concept design of the Bernadette Drive Sidewalk Project. The shaded area is where the proposed sidewalk would go.

City of Columbia Engineering Technician David Watson said the project is not complicated.

"It's a pretty straightforward design," said Watson. "The sidewalk is right on the back curb so we don't have to do any major re-design. It's pretty simple, it follows the same terrain."

Columbia resident Dawn Zeterberg said she walks on Bernadette Drive once or twice a week. When asked how she feels about the idea of a sidewalk being placed here she said, "Finally. I am very happy."

Zeterberg uses a wheelchair with a bright orange flag on the back and wears a yellow-neon hat to help identify her on the street, since there is no sidewalk. 

City of Columbia Engineering Specialist Sam Budzyna said the project has been on the master plan for a while, but it's a lower priority and there hasn't been enough funding for it.

"The sidewalk plan has been in the master plan, it goes from Ash all the way to Stadium along Bernadette," Budzyna said. "And a lot of that just got built recently with the stadium expansion. But it's a priority number two."

The next step will be a public hearing at a city council meeting. The project is expected to start next spring, and should take no longer than two months to complete.

 

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