Wood/Walden Ave. project discussed

Over 50 people attended an informational Philip City Council meeting concerning potential plans to rehabilitate Wood and Walden Avenues.

The Tuesday, October 12, meeting included council members, landowners in that area, and representatives of the engineering firm Schmucker, Paul, Nohr and Associates, Mitchell, S.D. SPN&A project engineer Jeff McCormick first gave an illustrated overview of the entire project.

Run-off control, easing snow removal efforts, maximizing parking on the streets and improving esthetics were the stated reasons for the project. The eastern side of the southern end of Wood Avenue would be narrowed and the eastern side of the north end of Wood Avenue would be widened. This would be to make the width of the street as uniform as possible. Storm sewer, blacktop and curb and gutter would be put in on both streets.

SPN&A's Harlan Quenzer welcomed opinions and comments. He said, "Frankly, that is why we have everybody gathered here, to state opinions and let the council know what to look at and do."

Some landowners showed concern over losing some of their yards and driveways where those meet the street. A new slope would have to be put in on the steeper areas of Wood Avenue. Some driveways would have to be taken out and re-sloped to meet the new height. Whatever roll-over curb existed on Walden Avenue would be taken out and replaced with regular curb and gutter.

Owners of frontage property would be charged for curb and gutter. Quenzer made a very rough estimate of around $15 per lineal foot if large sections could be done at one time to save costs.

A general concern was if the cost warranted the results. Quenzer said, "That's a question that has to be discussed further. Just because we think it, doesn't make it. We will not be doing this next year, because we do not have the funding package available. It can be built in parts and pieces from one end to the other." McCormick added that there would need to be "a lot of final design stuff for erosion control. There would be at least 10 drop inlets on Walden Avenue."

Audience member Jerry Rhodes summed up the main direction taken by a large percentage of the audience, "to fix the drainage problem and get new pavement. Leave the streets the way they are."

Mayor John Hart said, "The plans don't go bad. The reason we got Pine Street Phase II done when funding came available was because we had the plans on the shelf."

Quenzer said, "Agree, the plans don't go bad. They may have to be tweaked, but they are there, either in bits and pieces or full blown. We don't like working in emergency situations such as the swimming pool."