The Lavaca City Council unanimously granted permission for the city to seek bids for a proposed sidewalk project in Monday’s meeting.
Last month, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department denied a Safe Routes to School grant that the city applied for in fall 2012 to fund a 5-foot wide, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk stretching east from Arkansas 255 South along Arkansas 96 to South 15th Street in Lavaca, a distance of about 0.7 miles, Mayor Hugh Hardgrave said.
In a study session, the council discussed Plan B for the project funding, which will be to allocate the estimated cost of $150,000 from Lavaca’s street fund. The city listed $281,450 for the street fund in its 2013 proposed budget.
Hardgrave said he will work this week with the project engineer, Mickle Wagner Coleman of Fort Smith, to finish putting together the documents and necessary information for prospective bidders.
Last year, the city took on a similar project, building a nearly 1-mile long sidewalk from the intersection of Arkansas 255 and Arkansas 96 to Kelly Circle in Lavaca. The project took about three months to complete, Hardgrave said.
Hardgrave said he expects a similar time frame to complete the city’s newest sidewalk project once it begins.
"Three months from now, I’d say there’s a good chance they could start moving dirt," he said.
Hardgrave said he hopes to begin advertising for bidders in about a month.
State Rep. Charlotte Douglas, R-Alma, attended the meeting and discussed possible projects with the council, including building a safe room for the Lavaca School District with federal funds. Douglas recommended a letter-writing campaign to garner support for the project, among other options.