By Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
In two to three years, every sidewalk corner in Sarnia will likely have a ramp on it.
So says Robert Williams, construction manager with the City of Sarnia.
Nearly $525,000 has been earmarked for concrete repairs in the city this year, including swapping out about 65 inaccessible curbs, Williams said, and putting in 130 concrete pads at city bus stops.
It’s the third year in for the work, he said, noting the past two years about $400,000 has been invested.
“It’s been very successful,” he said.
It’s also a big deal for accessibility in the city, said Dale Mosley, accessibility coordinator.
He hears from people “all the time” about inaccessible curbs, he said.
“It’s helping people with wheelchairs, but also mothers and fathers with babies and carts and wagons, children on bicycles and everything,” he said.
Partially subsidized with federal funding, the curbs also include textured iron plates that let sight-impaired people know when they’re approaching an intersection.
The bus pads help people in wheelchairs get on and off at bus stops without issue, Mosley said.
The move is in line with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the city’s age-friendly plan, and transportation master plan, Mosley and Williams said.
There are also more locations throughout the city where sidewalk is missing and needs to be installed, Williams said, noting that’s a priority after the ramp work is done.
This year’s contract has been awarded to DiCocco Contractors.
“Right now our focus has been on fixing the sidewalks we have, as far as accessibility, and then looking at sidewalk infilling,” he said.