Locust Hill Road may get sidewalk extension
Locust Hill Road in Darien might be getting a sidewalk extension.
The new sidewalk would be located between the intersections of Old Kings Highway South and Delafield Island Road, along the south side of the road.
At the public information meeting at town hall on Oct. 2, Ed Gentile, director of public works, provided details on the proposed sidewalk extension.
About 20 people attended the meeting and several asked questions.
Darren J. Oustafine, assistant director of public works, is managing and rolling out the proposed project.
“We designed this in-house and did a preliminary layout,” Gentile said.
The sidewalk would be 450 linear feet in length and five feet wide.
In regard to whether the sidewalk should be made of concrete or asphalt, Gentile said asphalt was chosen.
While a section of sidewalk on the corner of Settler’s Trail is concrete, “we decided that we would match the rest of the sidewalk going up the street with asphalt and asphalt curbing,” Gentile said.
The one exception to that would be handicap accessible ramps as required by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which would be concrete with tactile warning strips at the two locations.
“All the driveway crossings and the roadway corners are handicap accessible,” Gentile said. “It means you can roll up on them.”
There would be some modifications to driveways and roadway crossings.
“We’ve painted the radius on there,” Gentile said.
The Department of Public Works would be relocating the two catch basins alongside of the road.
“They are currently in the gutter line or just behind the gutter line in the grassed area,” Gentile said. “Once we put the sidewalk in, those catch basins would be behind the sidewalk.”
He said he would therefore have to add two catch basins in the street and tie those new ones into the old ones behind the sidewalk.
“We’ll regrade behind the sidewalk to make sure there’s positive drainage to those catch basins,” he added.
There would some mailbox relocations if the project gets approved.
“We will put them as per U.S. Postal requirements, and with feedback from the property owners,” Gentile said.
He added that all necessary roadway line stripping will be repainted. “There’s not much out there,” he said.
There would be a new crosswalk installed at Old Kings Highway and Locust Hill, and it would be painted with white striping, just like the existing crosswalk that crosses Old Kings Highway.
“Once we have completed our plan and have consensus to move forward, we will have to approach and apply to the legal traffic authority for the town of Darien — the Police Commission,” Gentile said.
“The Police Commission would need to give their approval and permission for the crosswalk at the intersection,” he added.
Cost, start, duration
The estimated cost for this project is $75,000.
The funds have been appropriated already. They are in place and waiting to be used, according to Gentile.
The tentative construction start date is in the spring of 2020.
The town will be rebiding its sidewalk contract, which comes due this October.
“We try to rebid it every other year,” Gentile said.
This section of Locust Hill also is due to be paved in July, according to Gentile.
“So, we’ll clean up a sidewalk issue, a roadway issue, and I think we’ll walk away with a good product when we’re done,” he said.
The project would take from three to four weeks to complete, weather permitting.
The idea for the project began several years ago, according to Gentile.
“I had a number of requests from commuters in the area [and] area residents with children regarding safety,” he said.
Gentile told The Darien Times that he walked the area in question a couple of times and understands their concerns.
Planning & Zoning Chairman Stephen Olvany said he thought of the idea for this project two years ago, “when [developer] Penny Glassmeyer proposed the townhouse project on Settlers Hill at the Noble Brothers site,” he told The Darien Times. “I wanted them to connect that project with Crobin Drive so grandparents and empty nesters living there could walk to town on Thanksgiving with baby strollers.”
He added that he’s “glad” the town is now planning to do this and “paying for it also.”
The town hired a surveyor last year and attained a topographic survey in January.
On July 12, Gentile’s department sent a letter to area residents to introduce them to the project. Neighbors called in and gave their feedback, and based upon this, some modifications were made.
There is nothing on this plan that’s “chiseled in stone right now,” according Gentile, who said he welcomes residents’ feedback.
Oustafine is available to meet with residents on-site with specific questions as it pertains to their street or road. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the full meeting on Darien TV79.