Marietta City Council Streets Committee discusses Vine Street work

Marietta City Council’s Street Committee was contentious Wednesday as sidewalk replacement and retaining walls came up.

“The neighbors have been on my case about that Great Wall not being done,” Councilman Mike Scales.

The contention concerned the corner of Vine Street and Euclid Place and up the hill on Vine Street at Spring Street. The elevation of yards abutting the sidewalk is higher than where the sidewalks were placed for ADA compliance, so contractors are installing retaining walls that protect the sidewalks from yard debris. Work began in early August.

Scales voiced the concern that the additional hillside work cutting into neighborhood lawns is taking to long to complete with the new curb ramps.

“When we pave streets, what happens when the street that is paved, and what’s required by a federal mandate, is to update sidewalks to meet ADA compliance,” explained City Engineer Joe Tucker.

He said the topography of the Norwood neighborhood where these streets are is a challenge in meeting ADA compliance, noting the work his office did with Shelly and Sands to adhere to grade and other standards of disability access.

“Was it not part of the scope of the project?” Scales asked.

“Yes it certainly was, but it got more difficult than estimated, curb ramps are especially difficult to estimate,” answered Tucker. “It’s easy to get out of hand very quickly.”

The walls for each street will come to a total cost of $9,932.23 out of the project budget, with the Euclid wall costing $7,807.57 and the Spring wall costing $2,124.66, according to Project Manager Dave Hendrickson.

Tucker also addressed concerns about the walkability of other sidewalks throughout the city and corresponding sidewalks.

“I’ll be glad to go out and look at the crosswalks you’re concerned about and meet you there,” he said. “We can do more sidewalks and cut ramps than we’re paving if we have the funds, maybe address that in CDBG funds or extra streets funds if the income tax passes, but it wasn’t part of this year’s paving plan.”

Streets committee also discussed the $11,000 the city sewer department is paying for work already complete on covering two sinkholes in Harmar.

Hendrickson explained the sinkholes on Gilman Avenue and Hart Square needed an additional base to hold up under traffic after the broken sewer mains were repaired.

Tucker said the concept surrounds providing a comparable layer to underlying brick beneath the rest of Gilman.

“The final asphalt to go over top is all the public sees,” he explained. “But if you don’t have a good sub grade it’s not going to hold up.”

Councilman Geoff Schenkel asked if sinkholes and sub-layers of the street may have any affect on neighborhood home foundations.

Tucker said the main lines run through mostly the centers of roads and that these issues should not affect personal properties.

“The trend that we’re seeing is these sewers are old, very deep and both close to and influenced by the adverse effect of the river,” he said, noting also old infrastructure issues with a sewer main failure near Duck Creek. “What we need to do is be more proactive at looking at the condition of these sewers and noting what preventative care we can do.”

Council also blessed a renewal to contract with Pavement Management Group for rating quality of city roads.

“The costs went down slightly this year, they’re getting more streamlined as they continue this,” said Tucker. “We’d like to get the work done this year so we can get them started before the snow flies… and it captures all of the new paving. We did budget for this, this was part of the 2018 budget and funds are already in place.”

Tucker noted the company first started being used by the city in 2006.

“There was a line item for repair and maintenance for $42,000 and this is about half of that,” he added after the meeting.

Council will next meet to discuss finances with the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau Monday during Finance Committee at 4 p.m. in room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St.