Sidewalk renovations begin Thursday to meet ADA compliance

COLUMBIA, Mo. - City crews in Columbia are starting work on a sidewalk that will cost almost $400,000.

But officials argue the project is necessary and won't affect the city budget.

The construction is at Seventh Street and Broadway.

Complying with ADA regulations is one of the main reasons for the renovation of this sidewalk in particular.

City officials explained to us the changes while people from the Services for Independent Living tell us this increases the accessibility of the city of Columbia.

"It's good the city is tending to this particular location which seems it will make a big difference for somebody using any kind of mobility device," Scout Merry, with the Service for Independent Living said.

The improvements will help someone like Holly White.

She's lived in Columbia for seven years has used a wheelchair her entire life.

White tells us she loves living in Columbia because of the accessibility.

"There are still some sidewalks that have some issues, but I'd say for the most part it's pretty good," White said.

And those issues are what the city is now working on, starting with Seventh and Broadway.

"This particular project is important because it addresses two very valid concerns for that portion of the sidewalk. safety as well as ADA compliance. Currently the sidewalk does not meet those two standards," Steven Sapp said with Columbia Public Works.

A reason why this section of downtown Columbia was a top candidate for renovation.

Once completed, the project will allow everyone in the community access around town.

"I support any type of support in the area and I think that is money well spent especially because of the population, the disability population here in Columbia is growing so I feel like there is a need to keep doing those things," White said.

"I think we all have the right to move around our city and it's nice because all of the city sidewalks are old for the city to be tending to the need of all the citizens because everyone of us is important, everyone needs to be able to get into the businesses and be a part of the community," said Merry.

The city plans on working on three other sidewalks, finishing those projects by 2014.

Officials tell us the money for this new construction comes from a sidewalk budget already allotted by the city, along with grant money.

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