Lewes discusses sidewalk replacement

West Fourth Street and Savannah Road walkways are a priority
March 10, 2023

Lewes officials are hoping to make pedestrian improvements and upgrades to sanitary amenities in the next fiscal year.

City engineer Charlie O’Donnell of George, Miles and Buhr relied heavily on a recent sidewalk study completed by his firm when making a March 3 presentation to mayor and city council about various capital projects planned for FY 2024, which begins April 1. 

The study cataloged and weighted problematic sidewalks in Lewes. Criteria used emphasized compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as the top priority, followed by walkability. Each section was ranked based on repair need.

West Fourth Street from Chestnut Street to Park Avenue would be in the first phase of sidewalk improvements. O’Donnell said designs for the repairs should be completed by next month with a bid to be sent out when they are completed. He said Phase 1 of sidewalk improvements will be done in coordination with Phase 26 of street improvements. 

GMB estimates the cost of improvements to be $248,000 for construction and materials, with another $50,000 for engineering. A bid alternate will also be submitted for the north side of Beebe Avenue. O’Donnell said Beebe Avenue repairs were initially part of the bid, but with the price of things going up, he opted to allow the contractors to choose whether they wanted to pursue that project. Estimated cost of construction and supplies would be about $67,000, with engineering about $13,000.

Savannah Road’s sidewalks need some attention in a few different places. Across from the Zwaanendael Museum, repairs would total about $72,000. Repairs in front of the Beacon Motel are estimated at $12,000.  

Pedestrian and road improvements at Monroe and Railroad avenues are in a state of limbo. They are not in the FY 2024 budget after being previously removed from the FY 2023 budget. Combined, the two projects would cost $1.4 million. City Manager Ann Marie Townshend said there are still options available to pursue the projects, particularly at Monroe Avenue. She said they will pursue grant funding that would be available to install sidewalks along the street because there currently are none. If received, the grants could pay for as much as 80% of the total cost.

Stepping off the sidewalk, $25,000 is the estimated cost to replace the sewer line to the public restrooms in Zwaanendael Park. For work to restrooms in Mary Vessels Park, the estimated cost is $35,000. 

While $250,000 has been set aside to replace the HVAC system in the police station – the air conditioning does not work – officials have been given quotes that double that figure, as $500,000 would be needed to install two rooftop units and bring the system back to working condition. 

Council will meet at 9 a.m., Friday, March 10, to continue its review of the budget. A special meeting has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Monday, March 13, giving council one final opportunity to make changes before taking action on the budget. Voting to approve the budget could take place later that night at 6:30 p.m.


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