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Cheshire will apply for Complete Street funds to put in sidewalks along a section of Wells Road.

Cheshire Seeks Grant Funds to Extend Wells Road Sidewalk

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town will apply for state funds to extend the sidewalk on Wells Road from Flaherty Road to Dublin Road.
Highway Superintendent Blair Crane recommended to the Selectmen last week that the town apply for state Complete Streets funding to extend the sidewalk on Wells Road to Pine Valley Mobile Home Park.
"I think this is the best bang for our buck for the community and with the amount of people that live down there I would consider this the best option," Crane said. "There are a lot of kids down there that walk to the bus stop and this is the way I would lean."
The town recently applied for Complete Streets funding through the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to make improvements to Rail Road and Depot streets but did not receive any funding.
Town Administrator Mark Webber said the town could apply again but has to pick a different project.
"They are willing to submit another Complete Street application for a different project," he said. "The assumption is that resubmitting the same project won't make it this time either so we have to pick a different project from our list … it may not be the one you want but it has to fit their purpose."
Crane said the project is likely to cost around $200,000 and the town will have to pay for engineering. 
Webber said engineering for sidewalks is typically much less involved.
"We are on the hook for engineering so this is not totally free but engineering for sidewalks is pretty straightforward," he said.
Crane said his second choice would to improve various sidewalks throughout town and make them compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act but the Selectmen felt the Wells Road sidewalk would be most beneficial to the town.
"I rather go for Wells," Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said. "I think a lot of walking distance in town would be covered … and at the end of the day, I think this is what the community needs most."
Crane noted that the project may get a little hairy near the bridge. He said it would be impossible to put a sidewalk on the narrow bridge and a second pedestrian bridge may be the best solution.
In other business, Crane said he is aware of road issues on Outlook Avenue and his crew will get to it. 
"It definitely needs work like many places in town, and it comes down to time and weather," he said. "We need to have the labor to do it and the stars need to align but we know about it."
He added that he plans to start fall paving during the last week of September and striping the following week first week in October, weather permitting.

Tags: complete streets,   sidewalks,   

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