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Taking into consideration public feedback and construction logistics, the Moretown Sidewalk/Safe Routes to School Committee is planning to apply for a grant to fund the replacement of the asphalt sidewalks between Moretown General Store and Hurdle Road with granite-curbed, five-foot, handicapped-accessible concrete sidewalks.
The committee will provide an update on the grant application process at the Moretown Select Board meeting on Monday, July 1. The grant comes from the Vermont Pedestrian & Cycle Coalition and, if approved, Moretown will be responsible for matching 10 percent of the estimated $375,000 project.
The project was chosen in part from a recent online survey that asked residents to prioritize which sections of sidewalk they'd like to see repaired first and second. The sections, or "phases," were identified in a 2010 feasibility study of sidewalks in Moretown Village.
Phase A, which received the most votes, involves building a connector between the upper and lower villages that includes a retaining wall to support the sidewalk along the west side of Route 100B from the post office to the town yard.
Despite a clear need for Phase A, after evaluating the site, "the committee chose to defer the village connector project for now because of its complexity," Moretown Sidewalk/Safe Routes to School Committee chair Dara Torres said, explaining that "for a first foray, a project of this scope may be risky for the town."
At its June 3 meeting, the select board agreed that the intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B has issues that would need to be fixed before a sidewalk was installed, as cars often come down Moretown Mountain Road in winter and slide straight across Route 100B into the guardrail.
In the meantime, the committee plans to apply for the grant for Phase C, which involves replacing the sidewalks between Moretown General Store and Hurdle Road. Phase C was "a very close second [in the survey]," Torres said, and as the committee moves forward with the grant application for Phase C, it will continue to look into alternate connector options and funding for fixing the intersection and installing some sort of sidewalk or trail for Phase A.