KING CITY — King City Council has approved a revised plan to improve local sidewalks that have either deteriorated over the years or are incomplete segments due to financial constraints, with the intent of obtaining a federal grant for more than $3 million to help fix accessibility throughout the city.
The City of King has been unable to fund sidewalk improvements and maintenance for several years, resulting in hazardous walking conditions particularly for children, the elderly and those with disabilities who often have to traverse the roadway. Many of the street corners also do not provide adequate accessibility or meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Last year the council approved the Citywide ADA Pedestrian Walkway Assessment Plan to “address these deficiencies in order to support community-wide efforts to enhance pedestrian access and safety,” according to City Manager Steve Adams. The project was split into three phases, the first of which was submitted for federal funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The City of King’s grant application, however, narrowly missed the cutoff score to be awarded CDBG funds, which focus on census block groups of areas where 51 percent or more of households qualify as low or moderate income based on countywide criteria.
At its Aug. 22 meeting, the council approved preparation of another CDBG grant application for 2018 funding. Since the program increased the maximum amount of grants for next year, city staff recommended updating the sidewalk plan to combine Phase I and II into a single phase.
“Phases I and II have now combined into Phase I,” Adams said in his Sept. 26 report to the council. “In addition, staff reassessed deficiencies and updated the recommendations.”
Prepared by city engineering services Hanna and Brunetti, the revised plan — now only two phases — will correct all existing deficiencies to allow for an uninterrupted path of travel along sidewalks in King City. Missing and non-compliant curb ramps, existing curb ramps missing appropriated truncated domes, replacement of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and missing sidewalk segments are all identified as needed improvements.
“It is an important priority for the City to create connectivity through better pedestrian and bicycle accessibility,” the 2017 plan states. “This will enhance mobility, particularly for transit dependent, disabled and disadvantaged individuals without convenient vehicle access.”
The project’s primary goal is to improve safety and access to public service and transportation, safe routes to schools, parks and recreation opportunities. New sidewalk construction is proposed in areas that include or connect residential neighborhoods to local schools and parks, the city’s Recreation Center, government facilities, commercial shopping areas and transit stops.
One key area addressed in the assessment plan is to fix the sidewalks that link Mee Memorial Hospital on Canal Street to the nearby shopping center.
“The route currently includes barriers that make pedestrian travel difficult, particularly for a number of people that require wheelchairs,” the plan explains.
According to the report, the project consists of saw cutting, removal and offsite disposal of existing concrete; preparation of the subgrade for the installation of proposed sidewalks, curb ramps, curbs and gutters; and the installation of the new walkways to meet ADA requirements.
All work will be within the city right-of-way.
Construction costs for Phase I are estimated to be $3,374,808, which is intended to be funded from the CDBG grant. Phase II, which includes work outside of the census block groups, will be funded through the future annual sidewalk maintenance program included in the city’s Capital Improvement Project budget.
Once grant funding is secured, the city estimates that the entire project could be completed within a year, possibly by February 2019.