Safe Routes to School in Sedalia, MissouriPosted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by Mike McKenna
In Clients, Projects, Traffic, Transportation Engineering, tagged in Tags: ADA, missouri, projects, schools, sidewalk, Transportation
Two years ago, the City of Sedalia received Safe Routes to School funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The funds were awarded to improve pedestrian access between Horace Mann Elementary and the adjacent neighborhoods.
The existing pedestrian facilities along this nine-block project were in disarray. Broken concrete, steep slopes, missing sections, and lack of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps were all barriers to a safe walking environment. Some sections of sidewalk adjacent to the school sloped towards a retaining wall creating opportunities for pooling water and ice along the route.
The city wanted to increase safety both to and from school and promote walking and bicycle riding. They hired Affinis to help them achieve their goals. We were able to accomplish them together by:
• Applying proper ADA guidelines.
• Coordinating efforts with the elementary school.
• Maximizing the awarded dollars to construct more sidewalks.
The design for the project consisted of removing the existing sidewalk and replacing it with ADA conforming sidewalk and ramps. Although this project was small, it did include a few unique challenges:
• Sidewalk along commercial buildings.
• Sidewalk adjacent to a large retaining wall on the east side of the school.
• Limited existing right-of-way.
• Scheduling the construction to minimize the impact on Horace Mann Elementary.
“Affinis worked with us to find ways to save money during the design, so we would have funds for construction,” said Devin Lake, Public Works Project Manager, City of Sedalia, Missouri.
To minimize costs, no right-of-way or easements were to be used for construction. This was a challenge at each driveway and intersection. At driveways, sidewalk was matched into the right-of way side of the driveway, then a two-foot or more section of concrete was constructed to tie back into the driveway on the street side. At intersections, ramps were designed and constructed using a combination of ramps and landings.
To stretch the award dollars as far as possible, Affinis proposed only surveying at the curb ramps and each driveway to verify slopes. Utility companies were contacted and coordinated with, but not fully surveyed. To complete the majority of the design, an aerial photograph was used, and the sidewalk followed the existing profile, if it was within ADA guidelines.
This project was built in the spring while school was in session. To avoid conflict with school drop off and dismissal, construction activity ceased from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on school days.