By Sarah Richardson
Work has continued on the south Lafayette Street sidewalk project over the last several weeks, with the construction hitting the “worse before it gets better” stage as we entered the season’s first cold snap. The project, which totals $463,934.04, began with the digging up of the existing sidewalk over the last few weeks. The City of Lewisburg was requested to supply 20 percent of the cost in matching funds, which totals $92,786.81. However, council already approved over $28,000 in funds for this project when it was first discussed, so only the difference of roughly $63k was paid this year.
This project has been in discussion since 2011, but there were holdups with the bidding process as well as being at the mercy of the State’s schedule. While the sidewalk is owned in parts, by each of the respective businesses owners, City Manager Misty Hill reported at previous City Council meetings that at least one person has been injured by the rough terrain of the sidewalk, breaking their ankle, and that it was growing worse every day.
South Lafayette Street is temporarily open for traffic until the next stage of the project. The grant runs through the middle of next June, its sidewalk work, stormwater work, and paving that section of street in spring 2024.