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Money to fund ADA compliance of safety paths

By Lisa Brody

Following acceptance of the ADA Compliance Master Plan for the Jan Roncelli Safety Path, Bloomfield Township trustees approved budget allocations the next several years to the program in order to bring intersections and ramps into compliance at their meeting on Monday, April 25.

Olivia Olsztyn-Budry, director of engineering and environmental services, explained that on October 11, 2021, the board of trustees directed the development of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Master Plan for the Jan Roncelli Safety Path System, which was completed by the township's engineering consultant Hubbell, Roth & Clark.

Olsztyn-Budry said the ADA was passed in 1990 by the federal government. Construction guidance was not issued until 2010. Residents of Bloomfield Township approved the original safety path millage in 1998, and have supported the millage renewal since then. “The original master plan for new routes was completed in 1998, and updated in 2008 and 2018. Presently, there are over 70 miles of safety path, 82,000 square feet of retaining walls and 25,000 feet of fencing and several pedestrian crossings to provide safe, walkable and accessible paths for non-motorized users across the township,” she said.

There currently are 1,180 ADA ramps at public intersections with in the township. Of those, 515 ramps comply with ADA requirements; of the other 665, HRC did a field review and said 199 comply and 466 do not.

She explained that several are within Bloomfield Village, “which is a system in and of itself, and is a lower priority. The Bloomfield Village manager has a team going through and replacing roads through an SAD process.”

Based on the results of the master plan, the preliminary cost to bring intersections into compliance with ADA guidance is $1,439,370 for non-signalized intersections, and $2,561,630 for signalized intersections. The cost to bring Bloomfield Village intersections into compliance is $1,014,523, for a total cost of $5,015,523, in 2022 dollars.

“The township has $200,000 for this year, which we would recommend to begin repairs in the southwest corner of the township,” Olsztyn-Budry said. “The goal after fiscal year 23, this year, is to recommend budgeting $500,000 a year to complete replacement in eight years.”

Trustee Michael Schostak pointed out that would only be a little over $4 million. He also asked if there was a way to get it all done in less than eight years with costs going up, and Olsztyn-Budry did not think so, based on preliminary construction schedules for safety paths.

Treasurer Brian Kepes asked if the township was grandfathered in to not comply with the ADA requirements, as he noted some older residents do not like the raised metal inserts into concrete. Olsztyn-Budry said she did not believe the township was.

Trustees voted 5-1 to approve the program, with Kepes opposed and supervisor Dani Walsh not in attendance.


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