First announced when a grant for it was awarded in 2010, construction of a new section of sidewalk on Crozet Avenue connecting Crozet Elementary School to Ballard Drive will begin by March 1. The 600-foot stretch of sidewalk is paid for through a Safe Route to School grant administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Last month county officials awarded the construction contract to Plecker Construction of Staunton, whose bid came in at $268,750, according to county transportation engineer Jack Kelsey.
The project includes curb and gutter drainage improvements and a crossing light installed where Crozet Avenue meets the driveways to Crozet Elementary and The Field School. Pushing a button at the crosswalk will cause a “cross alert” system to flash to stop traffic. The sidewalk will be seven feet wide, to allow bicycles to use it and pass in opposite directions, and will be set off from the road by a six-foot–wide grassy strip. The contract allows Plecker 120 days to complete the project.
Kelsey said the five-year delay was due to “processes and procedures and requirements that we didn’t know about when we applied [for the grant]. We would have asked for more money if we had known.”
A second 1,100-foot phase of the project will build a new sidewalk with the same character from St. George Avenue to The Field School. That project is part of a second grant in which it is bundled with a sidewalk project on Pantops that still has unresolved easement issues. Kelsey said he expected those to be settled within two weeks and the county’s hope is that contracts will awarded in time to allow the work on the second section of sidewalk to pick up as the first nears completion.