Sidewalk may hold up road/waterline work - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Sidewalk may hold up road/waterline work

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Toledo needs to fix its aging water pipes under city streets and it has a plan to fix several miles of pipe  but there are two problems holding back the work.

The city has experienced water main breaks in town…

“We have some faulty infrastructure that we need to replace.”

So the city wants to spend $19.3 million  fixing nearly 10 miles of water lines along 18 streets.

Joel Mazur, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff says, “If we go forward with replacing these lines that will cut down on the amount of water main breaks we have.”

But for two months, the water main work was locked up in a city council committee.

Unions wanted to make sure there are enough workers to do the job.

So the city has committed to hiring 8 new workers.

But a second hold up has been one neighborhoods concern over a proposed sidewalk.

People who live along Green Valley Road in South Toledo have posted “No Sidewalk” signs.

The city wants to lay new sidewalks on one side of the road after a new water line goes in.

Resident Debbie Hickman doesn’t want to shovel that new walkway, telling 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, “If we had a winter like last winter it was not easy, ok?”

But neighbors across the street are frustrated by that thinking.

Joanna Comerford worries, “If they don’t put the sidewalk in, is the street going to get done, is the waterlines going to be repaired or is it going to sit for another 10-years?”

And that’s the issue:  if this sidewalk dispute holds up the entire road project that could drive up costs and expose vulnerable pipes to another break.

Resident William just wants a decision made, saying, I want to get the road fixed and the water in.”

Council could approve this $19 million in 2 weeks but a delay in road work could drive up costs and push back needed repairs to old and vulnerable water lines.

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