what’s going on here?
What is it? Changes to sidewalk connections along local streets is part of a federally funded, state supervised effort to improve accessibility for all and made sidewalk sections more compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act standards..
HUNTERSVILLE – The presence of N.C. Department of Transportation crews last week in the downtown area had a few folks thinking preliminary steps had begun on the long-awaited Main Street Upgrade project, but the sidewalk-focused efforts were part of a separate NCDOT-supervised program.
As part of the federally funded and state implemented Non-Infrastructure Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), crews made improvements to sidewalk sections downtown and elsewhere throughout town to improve accessibility for all potential users.
The TAP is intended to help local sponsors fund community based projects that expand non-motorized travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historical and environmental aspects of the transportation infrastructure.
In Huntersville, NCDOT crews put a small portion of TAP funds to use and targeted substandard sidewalk curb ramps at 50 different intersections. The primary work was removing raised curbs or replacing existing, outdated ramps with new concrete ramps with bumped inserts to also assist the vision impaired.
The federal program provides the bulk of the funding for the project with the state providing a small percentage of matching funds.
The NCDOT operates the program independently and notified the town of the plans to begin the sidewalk improvements back in March.
The work along Maxwell Avenue and the Huntersville-Concord Road area will not have any impact on the Main Street Upgrade, a long-planned town project to provide an alternative north-south route through town and also enhance access to anticipated downtown development. If sidewalk sections are impacted by the Main Street project, a multi-year effort with construction expected to begin in early 2020, ramps will be rebuilt to meet the new standards.