Price tag for sidewalk repairs and replacements totals nearly $4.5 million

It will cost nearly $4.5 million to bring Brock Township’s existing sidewalks up to snuff.

Works Director Nick Colluci presented a third revision to the Sidewalk Master Plan at Monday (March 11) afternoon’s meeting of public works and facilities committee, outlining the overall cost to repair, replace and remove sections of sidewalks throughout the municipality.

While the overall goal is to have a sidewalk on every street in the municipality, the estimated cost does not include installing sidewalks on streets that currently don’t have them

“We’re really only dealing with the sidewalks that are on the ground now,” Colucci told members of council.

More than $270,000 was set aside for sidewalks during budget deliberations this year, including $110,000 held over from 2018.

During the meeting, Colucci also presented a report that outlined how that money would be used to replace and remove sidewalks on seven streets in Cannington and Beaverton in the coming months.

A 345-metre section of sidewalk on the east side of Laidlaw Street South in Cannington will be replaced, as well as a 150-metre section on the east side of Peace Street.

Sections on west side of Laidlaw Street South (45 metres), east side of Peace Street (30 metres) and McKay Street (110 metres) will be removed once the new sidewalks are installed.

In Beaverton, sections on the north and south side of Bay Street (370 metres), west side of York Street (110 metres), north side of Church Street (270 metres) and west side of Mill Street (110 metres) will all be replaced.

In addition to urging staff to consider alternatives to traditional concrete, Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer said the Township should pursue a cost-sharing agreement with Durham Region to install a sidewalk extending out to Brock High School.

“Brock High is the only high school in Durham that doesn’t have a sidewalk,” Coun. Schummer said.

CAO/Clerk Thom Gettinby told members of council that staff have broached that issue with their counterparts at the Region in the past – roughly a decade ago – but made few in-roads. And that was despite support expressed by students, staff and the school community council.

Coun. Schummer said it’s a conversation worth pursuing again.

“The kids at the high school do utilize that road to walk into town,” he said.

The development of the Sidewalk Master Plan has spanned nearly five years in total but sparked a fair amount of dialogue in 2018, when staff suggestedremoving more than three kilometres of sidewalks that aren’t being maintained.

The report, presented to council last March, suggested spending nearly $129,000 this year to remove sections of sidewalk, with just $30,000 being spent on repairs to the east side of Adelaide Street East in Cannington and the east side of Albert Street South in Sunderland.

“The removal of these poor sidewalks would greatly reduce the trip and fall liability to the municipality,” the report read.

Most of the work would have come in Cannington where sidewalks on six streets – Ann (south), King, Munro (east and west), Prince, Queen and St. John – were identified for removal. The proposal also called for portions of sidewalks to be removed along Church Street and Mill Street in Beaverton and Albert Street North in Sunderland.

Members of council deferred the decision pending feedback from the Brock Accessibility Advisory Committee, which was submitted in the fall and urged the municipality to view removal of sidewalks as a last resort.

“Some sidewalks could be removed if there is a sidewalk on both sides of the road. Spot repairs should be made on the sidewalks that are to remain as part of the sidewalk network. Staff should also investigate the purchase of equipment to permit the maintenance of the narrow sidewalks in the winter,” reads the report, which was discussed by members of council in September.

In December, Township staff posted signs on a number of sidewalks that note they aren’t maintained through the winter months due their condition or narrow width.

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