Pell City sidewalks meet ADA standards

The city recently completed a sidewalk project along 19th Street South that meets ADA standards.

PELL CITY - The city has hired a company to develop a transition plan to help bring the city’s right-of-ways and other public outdoor spaces into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It’s a matter of scheduling the field work,” City Manager Brian Muenger said Monday. “I think they will get started this month or next.”

The city hired Sain Engineering Associated to complete the plan, which will include a public comment period.

“Previously, Sain served as a consultant to the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission, performing technical assistance to local governments on ADA issues, as well as successfully completing a number of transition plans,” Muenger said.

The work is expected to cost the city no more than $29,900.

Muenger said the development of an ADA plan for city rights-of-way and other public outdoor spaces is important, so city officials can determine what is needed and the costs, so future funds can be set aside to help bring the city into ADA compliance.

“The scope of services proposed will involve taking an inventory of current physical barriers in city right-of-ways, developing a draft transition plan, soliciting public input and finalizing the plan in concert with city staff,” Muenger said.

Sain, he said, will evaluate approximately 63,400 linear feet or 12 miles of improvements during the process.

According to Sain Associates, federal law requires that all public entries with more than 50 employees create a transition plan that shows the city’s strategy for how it will evaluate, plan and make upgrades to bring the city up to current ADA standards.

“This is required for both right-of-way infrastructure such as sidewalks, curb ramps and pedestrian signals, and also for public facilities, like buildings, parks, bathrooms, etc.,” said Matt Stoops, with Sain Associates, in their ADA transition plan proposal to Pell City.

However, buildings and other facilities would not be addressed as part of the proposed scope of work by Sain.

The transition plan will include the evaluation of public rights-of-way in the Fox Hollow subdivision, Mill Village, downtown, Cogswell Avenue and 26th Street at 5th Avenue.

The evaluation would also include Lakeside Park and the Sports Complex, Muenger said.

“ADA has been the law of the land for decades,” he said. “Now is as good a time as ever to renew efforts to get facilities the way they should be.”

He said the plan will allow city officials to determine costs, so funds can be budgeted for future work.

Muenger said the plan could also assist the city with tapping into state and federal funds to bring city rights-of-way and public outdoor spaces into ADA compliance.

“The final report will consist of a list of physical barriers, strategies and methods for remedying those barriers, a schedule for compliance, and the documentation of public outreach,” Muenger said.

Sain will consult with the city to develop a strategy and prioritization plan.

Officials said the ADA plan could take up to six months to complete. Muenger said the plan could lead to a better, more walkable community.

It will take years for the city to completely reach ADA compliance, he said.