A First Street sidewalk project to improve pedestrian mobility in Langley has been pushed back to 2018.
The estimated $245,000 project was expected to begin this fall, but city Public Works Director Stan Berryman said at the Langley City Council’s regular meeting on Aug. 21 that prices for construction of the project were too steep.
“Right now, bidding is crazy out there,” Berryman said. “Prices are very high. So, given that, and also it being late in the year, we made the decision to postpone that and do the construction in 2018.”
The plan includes a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the upper part of First Street, a connecting sidewalk to DeBruyn Avenue, bioretention cells for drainage and underground filtration facilities. There will also be room for 13 on-street parking spaces, which will replace the gravel pathways currently in front of several houses on the eastbound side of the street.
Langley residents asked the city this past spring to develop more connecting sidewalks between walkable areas to create a safety net between pedestrians and moving vehicles. The goal for the project is to reduce safety concerns for children as well as elderly people walking the streets.
Other Langley residents and property owners objected to the project, saying they felt it would diminish the city’s rural character and reduce the number of parking spots on the street.
“We’ve arrived at a good design that I think incorporates a lot of the elements of what the neighbors wanted up there,” Berryman said. “It will give us an opportunity to run that by them, take our time and hopefully get a better price.
The hope is to put out bids early in 2018, Berryman said. Construction would likely begin sometime in the spring.
Most of the funds will be covered by grants from the Transportation Improvement Board and Island County; the project is in the city’s six-year transportation improvement plan. The price must be within the grant’s limitations, Berryman said.
“The funds are limited to the grant,” Berryman said. “If the bid comes in way over the grant, we can’t do the project.”