This portion of sidewalk, extending from the new library at 388 W. Main St. to Chestnut Street, is one segment that will be replaced by Pember Companies. Photo by Sarah Nigbor
Say goodbye, trip hazards

Village to replace portions of Main, Grant sidewalks

ELLSWORTH – Anyone who has ever walked on the north sidewalk of Ellsworth’s Main Street knows the steeply slanted, cracked concrete is divcult to navigate even when it’s dry. Soon that prob- lem will be fixed with a new sidewalk.

At the Sept. 13 meeting, the Ellsworth Village Board approved a contract with Pember Companies of Menomonie to replace the sidewalk on the north side of Main Street from Subway to Chestnut Street (220 feet); the sidewalk, curb and gutter for the north side of Main Street from BP Expresslane to 532 Main St. (115 feet); and sidewalk, curb and gutter for the west side of Grant Street along Final Final Sports Bar (135 feet). The contract totals $26,026.50.

“In the past year, I’ve noticed the sidewalk deteriorating quite rapidly and I don’t see it getting better any time soon,” said Public Works Director Brad Vick.

In the last seven months, three people have fallen on the north side of Main Street between the new library and Chestnut Street. The village has an insurance claim from a woman who tripped and injured herself east of Final Final, Vick said. The sidewalks have portions of concrete missing.

According to the project description, “This is a safety hazard for pedestrians; the village has had numerous incidents in the past year of pedestrians falling on these sidewalk segments due to pavement quality.”

For the portion between Chestnut and the new library, the sidewalk will not include a terrace. While the sidewalk slope is limited by the existing curb and the business-front sidewalks to the north, to maintain the 1.5% American Disabilities Act (ADA) cross slope on the sidewalk, a terrace would need to be constructed with a steep slope, almost equivalent to a step. This option is not feasible because at its steepest point, the terrace would be 31% grade. Vehicles would be forced to park closer to the Main Street traf- fic lane in order to open their passenger-side doors, which creates a whole new safety hazard.

The new sidewalk will tie into the curb to the south and the business front sidewalk portion to the north. The project scope doesn’t include any changes to the profile of the curb and gutter or north business sidewalks. At the steepest location, the sidewalk would have an 8.1% grade.

Village President Becky Beissel said the village was “entertaining the decision not to assess for this. We don’t need to if it’s for the greater good of the community.”

If the new sidewalk ben- efits the community at large rather than just the businesses themselves, the village doesn’t need to assess property owners for the cost.

Vick said there is money in the public works budget for the project, with money left over.

“Does this make it (the sidewalk) more user-friendly for people with disabilities?” asked Trustee Mindy Anderson. “I hear that come up quite often.”

The answer is yes.

“The sidewalk with the 8% grade, it will be the slope the whole way across the sidewalk, instead of an angle,” said Trustee Andrew Borner.

Construction will begin in October. And as one village trustee said, “It (the sidewalk) needed to be taken out the day after it was put in.”

Other business

• The village board will vote on the newly updated Comprehensive Plan at the Oct. 3 meeting. A public hearing will also be held. A copy is available for viewing at the village hall and a link is online.

• The board approved a street use permit for Ellsworht E3 CDC for a portion of Broadway Street for the Fall Festival, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. The “East End Revival” event will have pumpkin painting, harvest vendors, baked good, children’s games, music in the parklet, the E-Town Collaborative grand opening and a Day of the Dead art show.

• The board approved a change order request for the new library project totaling $11,161. The money went toward labor, material and equipment to provide ventilation to the History Room, drywall/ finish the History Room walls, and revise lighting fixtures.

• The board approved the August Market & Johnson invoice for 388 W.

Main St. for $109,694.94.

• A quote for rebuilding a retaining wall at 354 Warner St. was approved for $6,400. The village will split the cost 50/50 with the property owner.

• The board approved a contract with 120 Water for $13,387.50. The Environmental Protection Agency has asked every utility to produce a service line inventory, that’s digital, searchable by address and public-facing, showing lead and copper lines. It’s due by Oct. 16, 2024 to be in compliance with state, EPA and DNR regulations. It's the first step in removing and replacing lead service lines.

• The board approved a tree removal at 628 Kinne St. for $4,750. The tree, which is hollow, is in the village’s right-of-way. A portion of it already fell on the corner of a house.

September 27, 2022