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Marshall calls public hearing on South 4th Street construction

MARSHALL — The city of Marshall is making plans for a roughly $3.6 million construction project on South Fourth Street. But not everyone in the neighborhood is happy with the plan, city council members said Tuesday night.

Concerns about making the street narrower, and adding new sidewalks along some parts of the street, will likely come up at a public hearing on Feb. 25.

At the city council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Marshall Public Works Director Jason Anderson presented plans to reconstruct South Fourth Street, and replace water mains, sewer lines and sidewalks along the street. The construction zone would be from the intersection of South Fourth Street and Elaine Avenue, to the intersection of South Fourth Street and Country Club Drive.

“This is reconstruction scheduled for this summer,” Anderson said. In addition to rebuilding the street and utility lines, Anderson said the city would realign the intersection of South Fourth Street and Camden Drive, so the two streets will meet at 90-degree angles. The city would also add new sidewalks on the east side of the road. Right now, there are only sidewalks on the west side of South Fourth Street, he said. The on-street bike lanes on South Fourth Street would be taken out, and a proposed walking and biking path would be built going from Kathryn Avenue to Country Club Drive.

The estimated cost of the street construction is $2.8 million, city staff said. Adding in contingency and engineering costs, the project comes to an estimated total of $3.58 million.

However, council member Russ Labat said residents along South Fourth Street told him there was one other detail of the street project they didn’t support. The reconstruction would make South Fourth Street narrower, which residents say doesn’t make sense for the amount of traffic on the street.

“I’m not opposed to the project. I’m opposed to the specs,” Labat said. He said some residents also questioned the need for the bike trail and the new sidewalks on the east side of the street.

Anderson said South Fourth Street is currently about 45 feet wide. The reconstruction project would take the street width down to about 41 feet. If the bike lanes are taken off the street, the difference might not be noticeable, Anderson said.

Anderson said he was also aware that about 10 property owners along the east side of South Fourth Street didn’t want sidewalks. There was a petition circulated about the sidewalks, and he said those materials would be given to city council members at the public hearing.

Sidewalks do benefit the community, and add to property values, said council member James Lozinski. Council members also pointed out that Freedom Park is in the area of the street construction, and it would be good to have sidewalks or paths connecting to the park.

Council members voted 6-1 to call for a hearing on the street construction on Feb. 25. Labat cast the vote against.

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