Rockford becoming more walkable every day

A five-foot wide concrete sidewalk will soon replace a crumbling narrow asphalt 10-Mile Roadside pathway in Rockford. Photo by Cliff Hill

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL

 

Approved earlier this year by the Rockford City Council, a crumbling stretch of narrow asphalt pathway along 10-Mile Road will soon be replaced with a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk.

Located along the north roadside, between Childsdale and Oak Street, the broken asphalt surface is not pedestrian friendly and its overgrown narrow width forces users dangerously close to the heavily trafficked 10-Mile Road.

The new sidewalk will connect with a recently completed five-foot wide stretch of concrete sidewalk that was installed this past summer as part of the 10-Mile Road reconstruction project.

When finished the two sections of sidewalk will allow residents of the Highlands neighborhoods safe pedestrian passage from Highlander Dr. to River St. and downtown Rockford.

A 240 ft. stretch of an Oak St. drainage swale will soon connect a sidewalk at the northeast corner of James St. and Oak St. to an existing Rockford City sidewalk to the north. Photo by Cliff Hill

Additionally, at the recent October Rockford City Council meeting councilors approved a sidewalk/boardwalk to be constructed along a 240 ft. stretch of Oak St. drainage swale.

This new sidewalk/boardwalk will connect the sidewalks of a three-street neighborhood on the City’s far southwest side to the existing City sidewalk system and the White Pine Trail pathway to the north.

Here-to-fore when leaving or returning to the neighborhood on foot, the residents of James St., Helen Dr., and Longview Dr. had no other choice than to walk on the heavily trafficked Oak St. road surface or in the oftentimes rain soaked drainage swale itself.

Completed engineering has as yet to determine whether the walkway will be an eight-foot wide boardwalk or a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk.

The 10-Mile Rd. sidewalk was budgeted at $40,000 and the Oak St. sidewalk was budgeted at a cost of no more than $25,000. Both projects are being funded from the Public Works general fund.

It is anticipated that both projects will be completed before the construction season ends due to winter weather.

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