Town undergoes street construction
Shepherdstown’s sidewalks and streets are undergoing several improvement projects prior to the beginning of the 2018 to 2019 school year.
The projects, which should be completed by mid-July, are funded by the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways.
“The town is making every effort to complete these projects with minimal disruption and aggravation to all those affected,” said Mayor Jim Auxer.
Auxer said the areas undergoing construction are East New Street, between King and Princess streets, and the four-way stops at German and Duke streets and High and Duke streets.
“Shepherdstown continues to move forward to improve its infrastructure,” Auxer said.
The sidewalk renovations at the four-way stop at German and Duke streets began June 4. The repaving will probably begin July 1, and will be done during the night.
According to Auxer and Kenny Shipley, director of special projects, these sidewalks and streets have not been repaved for many years. Auxer has spent the last five to 10 years waiting for the Division of Highways to address the streets’ and sidewalks’ declining infrastructure, he said.
“The project’s purpose is to make our sidewalks more accessible for handicapped people, to meet ADA regulations and to fix the blacktop of the four-way,” Shipley said.
The four-way blacktop has become bumpy over the years from the friction and weight of large trucks stopping and starting on the pavement.
“It has a kind of washboard effect from all of the trucks stopping, and a lot of people are moving over out of the right lane into the left to avoid the holes,” Shipley said. “It’s starting to become a safety issue.”
Auxer said part of the construction includes fixing the sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
“On the sidewalks that are brick, we’re taking the bricks out and then putting them back in, redesigning both the brick and concrete sidewalks to meet the ADA requirements,” Auxer said. He said the brick sidewalks would retain their historic appearance after the project is finished.
“One of the reasons redoing the sidewalks is important is because the sidewalks and pavement need to meet on street corners, to make them handicap-accessible,” Auxer said.
The sidewalks will now feature ADA Detectable Warning Pads at the edge of each street corner, to warn legally blind people of the road in front of them.
Jefferson Asphalt will be repaving the roads and has subcontracted out the sidewalk reconstruction to HLM Construction LLC from Dunbar.
One other Shepherdstown project is in the works for Jefferson Asphalt to complete after this project is finished. The town needs to satisfy its 2017 waterline contract, made with D&M Contracting of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
“In 2017, we installed a waterline from the water plant at Princess Street to water tanks, which required digging through High Street,” Shipley said. “We now have to resurface the entire length of High Street, from the intersection of Princess Street and High Street to the end of West High 45.”