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Mileage may vary

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During the MAPS 3 Trails and Sidewalks subcommittee meeting yesterday morning, MAPS staff told subcommittee members that out of 131 alignments for city sidewalks, the program would be able to build an estimated 31 of those, spread out over two phases and at a cost of $6.8 million in MAPS 3 funds.

The entire project is set to receive $9.1 million from the one-cent MAPS 3 sales tax approved by voters in 2009.

Those 31 alignments, part of a sidewalk master plan presented Wednesday, will total a little more than 25 miles, said David Todd, MAPS program manager.

“It’s less than what was originally estimated,” Todd said.

Discrepancies
According to several promotional pieces prior to the MAPS 3 vote, the program pledged to fund 70 miles of sidewalks. The city’s website still states that the current budget provides for the construction of around that distance.

The reason for the discrepancy is that while early estimates pegged the sidewalks at 4 feet wide, Todd said, city policy and other requirements have sidewalks at 5 feet wide. In addition, those estimates did not account for utility location, replacing driveways that cross the sidewalk and other factors, he said.

“We have to do 5-foot sidewalks now,” Todd said. “I think that was just a number that somebody extrapolated based on … taking a 4-foot sidewalk and running it at a distance, not thinking about the driveways and those things. There’s also been some inflation.”

However, the city may be able to pull more than 25 miles of sidewalk out of MAPS 3, he said, and if there is money left over after constructing the 31 priority alignments (which ranked each according to a weighted scale), the city will continue going down the list of 131 such alignments as far as it can.

“We typically do these in a conservative fashion, so we’re hoping that as we go along it will stretch out a little further,” said Todd, noting that while a MAPS 3 timeline has sidewalk construction slated to have already begun, no ground has been broken yet.

However, he said he was confident that the city could catch up and finish the project within the set time.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the subcommittee approved the proposed sidewalk master plan. It will go before the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board tomorrow before heading to the City Council for approval.

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An online survey aims to help OKC officials determine where to put up to 70 miles of sidewalks

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