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The original item was published from 9/21/2023 2:09:05 PM to 10/28/2023 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

Andover News

Posted on: September 21, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Sidewalk Inventory & Pedestrian Master Plan

Sidewalk Square

Click here to view the full Sidewalks and Curb Ramps Infrastructure Improvement Plan

In a significant stride towards enhancing the accessibility, safety, and connectivity of Andover’s sidewalk infrastructure, the Town released an Infrastructure Improvement Plan for Sidewalks and Curb Ramps this month. Also referred to as a Sidewalk Master Plan, the document outlines a comprehensive strategy to enhance Andover’s sidewalk network, provide an improved level of service, and inform decisions related to sidewalk maintenance and rehabilitation efforts.

The release of the plan caps off an intensive planning process conducted in collaboration with Environmental Partners Group, LLC (EP) initiated in 2021. The initial phase of the process involved a comprehensive inventory of the 60 miles of sidewalks and 1,002 curb ramps maintained by the Town of Andover. Engineers from EP assessed each sidewalk, documenting factors including general condition, material type, width, presence of grass strips, and maintenance needs. The condition of sidewalks was categorized as excellent, good, fair, or poor.

Pedestrian curb ramps, crucial for accessibility, were assessed for condition, material type, ramp type and the presence of detectable warning panels. This comprehensive data collection served as the foundation for the subsequent analysis and prioritization phases.

The majority of sidewalks were constructed using asphalt, with over 70% of them in good or excellent condition. Cement concrete was the predominant material for curb ramps, with approximately 69% in excellent or good condition.

The development of the Sidewalk Master Plan entailed significant public input. A public comment map was launched in June 2022, through which members of the community could weigh in on existing sidewalk conditions and contribute suggestions regarding where additional sidewalks are needed. Over 1,000 comments were gathered through the tool, providing a valuable complement to the data-drive analysis.

Environmental Partners also conducted a pedestrian usage analysis to identify priority pedestrian destinations and network gaps.

Using the insights garnered through this multifaceted assessment, a five-year capital plan for sidewalk improvements was developed. The plan identifies a list of sidewalks slated for replacement or extension each year. On average, the plan recommends dedicating 65 percent of funding for sidewalk reconstruction, and 35 percent for construction of new sidewalks over the next five years. The plan recommends expending an average of $1.55 million annually over the next 5 years.

During a presentation on the plan at a Select Board meeting in August, Town Engineer Art Martineau noted that the plan is intended to be flexible to accommodate evolving Town needs and availability of resources. Other infrastructure priorities, such as water and sewer projects, may impact the timing and feasibility of sidewalk projects. The plan is designed to account for these considerations.

Click here to view the full Sidewalks and Curb Ramps Infrastructure Improvement Plan

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