Paragould Will Get New Sidewalks

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Paragould sidewalks have seen a lot of action through the years.

Some are original to the oldest parts of the city and have never had any kind of work done to them.

In fact you may have to dig to actually find a sidewalk under years of dirt and growth.

But soon these sidewalks will see the light of day again.

The city says it now has the funds to start replacing these long ignored concrete paths.

Paragould's 125, 126 years old and some of those sidewalks aren't very far behind that age. Some of them are cracked up and deteriorated to the point where you can't even use them.

After years of not having the money to repair or replace sidewalks the Paragould City Council has given the green....light to go ahead on a test basis.

Mayor Mike Gaskill says the city will start small and work up numbers.

"We're going to run a small project to begin with so we can get some accurate unit costs so we have a better idea what the entire project is going to cost once we get into it. "

The council allocated around 80 thousand dollars for the first year. These funds were part of money spent on the 8 mile creek project which is now complete.

One area being considered is over on East Poplar, you might look at it as where the sidewalks end.

Some of the sidewalks have been so overgrown with dirt and weeds over the years that you kind of have to dig around to find out there's concrete really here.

These sidewalks are almost useless. In some places buried under 4 to 5 inches of dirt,  forcing kids to ride their scooters or bikes in the street.

Donald Smith who lives on East Poplar says his sidewalk has never been touched since he has lived there.

"I don't know how they would redo it. Anyway it needs to be redone up there at least to my fence all the way down there."

The sidewalk from the corner to his lot has disappeared under growth and the walk beyond his driveway is the same way. Even the sidewalk in front of the School of the 21st Century is broken with washouts and large chunks missing.

I asked Mr. Smith does anybody even use the sidewalk in its present condition?

Smith, "Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't most time they walk out there in the street ."

Mayor Gaskill says the project has generated lots of local interest.

"We've been encouraged by what we've heard from people kind of excited about the fact that we redoing them. I think that most people just accepted the fact that they are what they are and that's the best they are gonna be."

Gaskill says the bids should be let sometime in July and hopefully start-up of the project will begin soon after.

The total refurb could take three to five years.

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