Sidewalk paving begins in Atmore

Published 6:56 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
City of Atmore has been on a mission to ensure all major thoroughfares are lined with sidewalks.
Crews began working last week on the first phase of the sidewalk project alongside Medical Park Drive. The Atmore City Council awarded the bid for the sidewalks in June and even though it's been nearly six months work quickly progressed.
Beasley &Company was awarded the contract with a bid of $98,187. The other two bids received were for $180,000 and $163,000. Paul Darnell with DMD Engineers, Inc. is the engineering firm for the sidewalk project.
A majority of the funding for the sidewalk project will be provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation as part of it Transportation Enhancement Program for sidewalk improvement. The project has been in the works for over a year, but funding and Hurricane Ivan were two of the main factors setting the project back. The city put the project on the backburner because of the damages sustained from Ivan and the lack of available contractors due to all the cleanup efforts.
Paul Darnell with DMD Engineers informed the council in June that though the bid amount was low, work on the project would not begin immediately.
"They've (Beasley &Company) got a number of projects they're working on now, so they've asked for a little bit of time delay in starting the project, which I would also recommend that we allow," Darnell said in a previous interview. "He asked for two or three months. It's not a long time, but still we're not going to start immediately."
The sidewalk project will extend from Martin Luther King Drive, three blocks north of the railroad tracks, down Medical Park Drive just south of Atmore Community Hospital. It will also extend the existing sidewalks on Hwy. 21 to Escambia County High School.
Mayor Shell believes the additional sidewalks will assist in the safety of city residents.
"It will help get people off the streets," Shell said. "This project will be all the way down to the hospital and a lot of people walk back-and-forth to the hospital, as well as, the school."
Not only is the project a safety measure, but it will also help improve the city's beautification.
"Any time that you're able to improve a street in a community then you're upgrading the quality of what you have in your town," Shell said. "It's just another step in us trying to make improvements.

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