May 17 2016

Town Meeting Approves Funds for High Quality Sidewalks on Bedford Street

By: Rich Hosford

Town Meeting approved funds to upgrade the sidewalks on a prominent stretch of road during Monday night’s session. 

The legislative body voted to approve $250,000 to upgrade the sidewalks for the stretch of Bedford Street from Cambridge Street to Terrace Hall Avenue from bituminous curbing with asphalt to granite curbing with concrete. 


As reported on BNEWS, the members of the Board of Selectmen were debating which type of materials to use on this stretch of road.


During a meeting last week, the board voted to go with the granite and concrete but it was a 3-2 split decision. 


Those in favor of the granite and concrete argued that Bedford Street is a highly-visible and important road in the heart of the town. They also said they had feedback from residents urging them to go with the higher-end material. 


Those who voted to go with the cheaper material argued the town could cover more length of sidewalk with the same money. 


Concrete and granite costs about $85 per foot while asphalt runs at about $30 per foot, however the more expensive materials last much longer and are more durable against damage. 


Department of Public Works Director John Sanchez said doing this stretch, which is highly visible and part of the parade route for the town’s Memorial Day observances, will cost $350,000 if they go with the granite curbing and concrete. 


On Monday Town Meeting had the responsibility to vote on whether to add $250,000 to the $100,000 it approved last year to upgrade the materials and did so with a large majority. 


There was also talk of updating the policy on sidewalks. 


“We want the Board of Selectmen to come up with a policy on how to handle sidewalks going forward,” said Shari Ellis, Precinct 3. 


Selectmen Dan Grattan said the board had discussed that very thing and would work on the new policy in the upcoming fiscal year. 

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