Memorial Park sidewalk project underway
On Oct. 26, the city of Newberg began a project to install sidewalks around Memorial Park. The sidewalks are expected to be completed by the end of the month, according to a release by the city.
"The project is part of a renewed effort to improve sidewalks around the community, making a more walkable and accessible community for all," the release said. "The project will install 1,000 feet of 6-foot-wide sidewalks on South Howard Street, South Blaine Street and East Fifth Street adjacent to Memorial Park. The project also includes the construction, or reconstruction, of 15 ADA-compliant curb ramps and is scheduled to be finished by Thanksgiving weekend."
New sidewalks have been installed on Villa Road and College Street over the past three years as part of city projects. Through a program called Project Sidewalk, the city also has given the community a chance to map sidewalks throughout Newberg.
Citizen involvement in the mapping and construction of sidewalks in Newberg has been integral.
"Along with the effort to ensure all sidewalks along city property are up to code, the city has also begun a new program to help property owners replace their own sidewalks," the release said. "The Residential Sidewalk Grant and Loan Program and the Business Sidewalk Loan Program were created to lessen the burden property owners face when needing to replace sidewalks along their property by giving property owners access to funds and waiving permit fees at the city.
"The Residential Grant Program will reimburse residents half of the repair cost of a sidewalk up to $1,500. An additional $500 can be added to the grant if repairs are needed because of trees. Loans from the Residential Loan Program are given to projects that will cost over $2,500. The maximum amount of the loan is $6,000 and an interest rate of 4% applies to the monthly repayment. A lien on the property will create the repayment if the property is sold or transferred."
Applications are available now for the city's programs, with more information available at www.NewbergOregon.gov/sidewalks.
"The city's focus on sidewalks responds to the Newberg City Council's goal established in January of 2020 to further develop strategies that hold diversity, equity and inclusion as core values," the release said. "Studies show that lowest income households are the most likely to utilize sidewalks as a means to get to work and for transportation, and sidewalks are paramount to ensuring accessibility for all community members. Additionally, sidewalks create safer communities. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roadways without sidewalks are more than twice as likely to have pedestrian crashes as sites with sidewalks on both sides of the street.
The Memorial Sidewalk Project and the Sidewalk Grant and Loan Programs are being funded by gas taxes collected by the city.
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