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Wendell Blvd. sidewalks $86K more than expected

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WENDELL — Adding new sidewalks and making other pedestrian improvements along Wendell Boulevard will likely end up costing more than $2 million — about $86,000 more than estimated by officials last year.

The town negotiated design and engineering work with contractor Kimley Horn at $268,790, up from the earlier estimate of $185,000. The Wendell Board of Commissioners approved entering into a contract with Kimley Horn at its meeting Monday.

Additionally, construction and right-of-way acquisition is now expected to cost about $1.8 million. Previous estimates were closer to $1.3 million.

State and federal funding is expected to cover about 80 percent of the construction costs. Town officials will budget for the increased spending in the next fiscal year.

“I will say that while this cost is a little higher, the impact on the actual construction (cost to the town) is only about $60,000 to meet that 20 percent match,” Town Manager Marc Collins told commissioners.

The project will build about 2,000 feet of sidewalk along Wendell Boulevard, filling in gaps in the sidewalk in many places. Improvements will also be made to the traffic signals at the Wendell Falls Parkway intersection and pedestrian crosswalks at the Marshburn Road intersection. Wall Street will be closed at the intersection to Wendell Boulevard.

Officials say the goal is to make the area safer for pedestrians.

The increased design costs are intended in part to help increase the funding from state and federal grants toward the project, planning director David Bergmark said.

The town will apply for two competitive Locally Administered Projects Program grants to help fund the project. Kimley Horn is assisting with those applications.

Construction is expected to begin and complete in 2022.

Also Monday, commissioners:

• Authorized the sale of less than $30,000 of surplus police department property.

• Enacted supplemental changes to the town’s code of ordinances.

• Amended the policy on the use of the commissioner’s board room.

• Recognized National Community Planning Month.

• Authorized contracts for on-call engineering services with AMT and Withers & Ravenel.