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Contentious new sidewalk under construction on Polk Avenue

Ten months after Alexandria’s City Council struck down an appeal from neighbors to prevent a sidewalk from being built on Polk Avenue, construction on the sidewalk is now underway.

The project would add a sidewalk to the north side of the street — with the goal of helping students in the neighborhood walk to the nearby Polk Elementary and Hammond Middle School.

Last July, a group of residents along Polk Avenue expressed concerns that the city’s plans to build a new sidewalk on the north side of Polk Avenue, a stretch that was used at the time for on-street parking, would reduce parking in the neighborhood and potentially cut into the toe slope of the hill and could, in turn, affect the stability of the Polk Park hillside.

Local resident Kathleen Burns outlined her concerns in a letter to the editor published in the Alexandria Times, including concerns that there are no plans to include drainage grids or gutters for storm and waste water on the new curbs, potentially exacerbating flooding issues for the neighborhood.

The project team told ALXnow:

This project adheres to all applicable stormwater regulations. The sidewalk includes drainage features to manage runoff from the adjacent park, so there will be no more runoff than before. Due to over 80% of the new sidewalk is being built on the existing street footprint, very little new impervious surface is being added. No significant drainage impacts are expected.

Construction started on July 10 and is expected to finish early next month.

Image via Google Maps

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