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Rogersville takes a pass on $229,000 sidewalk grant

October 9th, 2013 9:58 pm by Jeff Bobo

Rogersville takes a pass on $229,000 sidewalk grant

Broadway Street in Rogersville won't receive a new sidewalk. Photo by Jeff Bobo

ROGERSVILLE — One last chance to salvage Rogersville’s “Safe Routes to School” grant for Broadway Street was rejected by a group of local residents who would have been required to donate a small piece of property to save the historic limestone.

In 2009, Rogersville was awarded a $229,000 Safe Routes to School grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to improve the sidewalk on the south side of Broadway Street from Rogersville City School several blocks east.

The existing limestone sidewalk is uneven, jagged and, in some places, broken. But it is also nearly two centuries old, is considered historic, and local officials and residents want the limestone preserved.

But because the grant funds are part of a federal project, the new sidewalk must be constructed under certain guidelines. For example it must meet all ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements, and it must have a smooth concrete surface that is at least 5 feet wide.

Those guidelines would have meant removal of the limestone.

In August, TDOT proposed a compromise in which the new sidewalk would be built to specifications and the limestone would be placed beside the new sidewalk. That would have required homeowners adjacent to the sidewalk to donate a few feet of right of way for the limestone to be installed.

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