Bridging the gaps


The City of Cedar Park has approved $270,000 to fill in gaps in eight sidewalks around town and to construct ADA-compliant ramps in six other locations.

The 14 locations are part of phase 4 of the city’s sidewalk gap closure program, which started in 2009 as one of the council’s strategic goals.

Senior engineering associate Tom Gdala said the staff developed a list of sidewalk gaps within the city limits, divided into three categories — developer dependent, roadway dependent and city dependent. Developer dependent gaps are in front of vacant tracts where development is expected. Roadway dependent gaps are in areas with planned roadways where the sidewalk gaps will be completed with street construction.

The council requested the program focus on city dependent gaps — locations usually around older developments that predated the city’s sidewalk ordinance.

“There wouldn’t be much of an opportunity for those gaps to close without city intervention so we focused on (them),” Gdala said.

Phase 1 was completed in 2012 with six locations for $123,000, phase 2 in 2015 with three locations for $107,000 and phase 3 in 2017 with six locations for $200,000. Each phase is funded through the Community Development Corporation.

Gdala said the different projects vary in length from the Hatch Road project where 2,00 feet of sidewalks need to be constructed from RR 620 to Meadow Lark Drive on both sides, to a 50-foot gap on Ronald Reagan Boulevard, just north of 1431. One of the ramps will be near Giddens Elementary because it’s a school crossing with no ADA ramps.

“We worked with the principal to relocate the school crossing from the school driveway up to the public screen where there’s already a crossing guard,” Gdala said.

The schedule is not set and construction priorities may shift timing of one section, based on logistics of mobilizing the crews and materials. The current plan is to complete the arterial locations first, along with the pedestrian ramps at Giddens Elementary so they are completed before school starts. Next will be the sidewalks along the collector roads and then gaps along local roads. 

Gdala explained the program was bid using the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) method, which allows the city greater flexibility on simple projects so change orders do not have to wait for council approval and potentially slow down the process. It does not guarantee all locations will be constructed but it does allow for another location to be added if there are funds left in the budget. 

He said they expect all Phase 4 locations to be completed but if any are not because of funding constraints or other issues, it will be deferred to either a future program phase or another city project. 

The engineering department plans to request $350,000 in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget for Phase 5 of the program. The budget is expected to be approved in October.

Four proposals were submitted for the work and all came in over budget. Alpha Paving Industries was chosen for the work with the understanding that the budget cannot exceed $270,000.

Construction will begin in July and should take six months to complete.