7/19/17 – Complaints from the public about the steep grade of the sidewalk terrace on the newly reconstructed James Street in Columbus prompted city and state officials to discuss the concerns last night. Complaints on social media includes the safety of the slope under icy conditions and scraping the bottom of an opened car door. Wisconsin Department of Transportation Project Manager Dave Pilon says while the sidewalk is in full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act he understands the concerns. One solution offered was converting 78-feet of the terrace – which is the area between the sidewalk and the street – from a slope to a step. The affected area runs between Home Expressions and The Cage. The committee was split on whether to address the issue or leave the terrace as is but nonetheless agreed to begin discussions with the DOT. It is not yet known what the changes would cost and who would pay for it. Mayor Michael Thom said in committee last night that if the state pays for the changes it would be a “no-brainer” to make a change for the better, however Thom said that does not necessarily mean installing a step in place of the sloped terrace. Phase one construction of James Street, from River Road to Ludington Street, wrapped up earlier this month. Phase two from Ludington west to Highway 73 should be complete by the middle of October, weather permitting.
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