No sidewalk on Holden Avenue

Norfolk will respect a petition that asked to county to drop sidewalks from the rebuild of Holden Avenue in Simcoe.“There will be no sidewalks,” Chris Baird, Norfolk’s general manager of public works, told Norfolk council last week.At the same meeting, Norfolk council approved a tender for the reconstruction of Holden Avenue between West Street and Beckett Boulevard immediately west of Norfolk General Hospital.The low bid in the amount of $1.935 million was filed by Morley’s Contracting of Paris. Counting engineering, materials testing and HST, the total value of the project is $2.12 million.The Holden rebuild was initially scheduled for last spring but was delayed a year due to time running down in the 2018 construction season.The rebuild includes new in-ground services, a new road bed, new curb and gutter, and new blacktop. Work will begin in May and should be finished by the end of October.A total of 42 contractors expressed interest in the project. Nine filed bids. The high bid came in at $2.7 million.Holden Avenue representatives asked council to drop sidewalks from the project last June.“Holden Avenue would be singled out if it had a sidewalk,” spokesperson Bruce Veltri said at the time.“We’re the last street to be done in our neighbourhood and they want us to take the sidewalk. It would give the impression that Holden is a through-way. We feel it could have an effect on property values. We want to remain in synch with the rest of the neighbourhood and remain sidewalk-free.”A vote to cancel the sidewalk last June failed in a 4-4 deadlock.Former Windham Coun. Jim Oliver pointed out that an elderly woman from this neighbourhood was killed by a recycling truck while she was out for a walk on Dora Drive in the winter of 2009. Oliver suggested the fatality may have been averted if there were a sidewalk available to the victim.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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