IRONWOOD — Ironwood City Manager Scott Erickson will check out the cost of the city constructing a sidewalk on the south side of U.S. 2 in the 2014-15 highway reconstruction project.
The sidewalk along the entire north side of the highway will be replaced in the Michigan Department of Transportation project, but the city commission must decide if a sidewalk should also be placed on the south side at the city’s expense.
Erickson told the city commission Monday a south sidewalk could only extend from Curry to Greenbush streets because of MDOT right-of-way agreements.
He estimated a cost of $50,000 for that stretch of the sidewalk.
At the first public hearing on U.S. 2 reconstruction plans, MDOT officials said a sidewalk would extend the full two miles on the north side of the highway, but not on the south side.
There are now walks on both sides of highway, but they are not continuous and are in poor condition.
Two city committees backed a one-sidewalk option, with finances a concern.
City residents attending the MDOT hearing months ago supported a south sidewalk.
MDOT is in the design phase of the project now. Officials want to know within the next few weeks whether or not to include a south sidewalk.
Erickson said funding for the sidewalk might be available through a loan from the state.
Commissioners questioned whether grants would be available to bury power lines along the highway, but Erickson said there isn’t any funding for that available.
Commissioner Monie Shackleford said having a sidewalk on the south side is “important” for pedestrians.
Mayor Kim Corcoran responded, “You’re right.”
Erickson said he’ll talk to both MDOT and Xcel Energy officials to come up with some more detailed cost projections before the next commission meeting.
Another public meeting will be conducted next spring, when a contractor selected by MDOT will be available to answer questions.
The first half of the Cloverland Drive project, in 2014, will be from the Curry tourist park to Curry Street.
The 2015 work will be from Curry to Roosevelt Street, near the plaza.
Comments on the project may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.