City may go it alone on sidewalk to Walmart
It may be cheaper for the city to build a sidewalk along U.S. Highways 6-34 and 83 to Walmart, instead of a walking trail that uses some state funds.
The McCook City Council gave its go-ahead for city staff to talk with a consultant with the Transportation Enhancement Program, an agency of the Nebraska Department of Roads that oversees trail grants, to see what options are available.
In 2007, the city entered into an agreement with the state to construct an eight-foot wide hiking//biking trail from West 11th continuing west to Wedgewood Drive. Total cost of the project at that time was $94,267, with a federal grant covering about 60 percent at $56,312 and a 40 percent match by the city at $37,955.
But since that time, costs of the project have increased significantly, due to inflation, added federal administration costs and other associated costs. This bumped up the cost to about $150,000, according to design engineer Greg Wolford.
Despite the increase, the grant amount remains the same and the difference would have to be made up by the city, to the tune of an additional $45,733.
That would make the total amount the city would be responsible for at $93,688, Public Works Director Kyle Potthoff told the council Monday night.
An alternative would be for the city not to use grant funds and use city funds to construct a sidewalk instead of a walking trail. City staff and Wolford have estimated the costs of building a 5-foot wide sidewalk starting at the 11th intersection and going west to Wedgewood Drive at about $60,000. This would include a push-button stop light at U.S. Highways 6-34 and 83, which was part of the initial design.
"It would be fiscally responsible and more inexpensive for us to do it ourselves," Potthoff told the council.
Councilman Aaron Kircher asked if the stoplight would stop traffic on the highways and Wolford responded that it would, but there is a significant amount of pedestrian traffic seen on the edge of the highway to justify it.
City staff will return to the council with a recommendation after discussing the issue with the official of the Transportation Enhancement Program.