West Des Moines Residents Question Sidewalk Ramp Construction, City Explains

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Last year part of Valley West Drive between Ashworth Road and E.P. True Parkway was resurfaced and some residents were confused when construction crews returned this spring and started tearing out sidewalk ramps.

“We had to fill off some of the existing hot mix asphalt and replace that. In a sense, it raises the pavement up in elevation which then takes and puts those sidewalk ramps out of compliance with the current ADA requirements. This city is required to any time that we make adjustments to the street paving adjacent to the ramps themselves we have to bring those back into compliance. So that’s what’s going on out there,” West Des Moines Engineering Services Department Principal Engineer Jason Schlickbernd said.

Crews are currently working on replacing 32 ramps and the project cost about $140,000. Neighbors have mixed feelings about the project.

“I thought as a group they were courteous to the pedestrians and they did a really good job in the sense of trying to keep the noise down and traffic flowing,” West Des Moines Resident James Wadsworth said.

Wadsworth lives near an intersection where the sidewalk ramp was replaced and is wondering along with his fellow neighbors if the project was necessary or not.

“I didn’t really mind, but I have to agree that you know was it a necessity for the expense of it is it really going to solve a lot of problems that was my curiosity because it’s being done on every single intersection of this street,” Wadsworth said.

Schlickbernd said to the average person the ramps might have looked fine but had to be replaced to meet federal guidelines.

Those guidelines include making sure the pavement meets the sidewalk and adding truncated domes, those patches of red bumps at the end of the sidewalk.

“We’ve got schools in the area as well so safety of the children and any individuals with ADA disabilities this enhances their safety as they are along such a busy corridor,” Schlickbernd said.

He said the project will be done within the next week or so.


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