Newport City Council begrudgingly spending more money on ambitious crosswalk project up and down 101
The Newport City council was told by a very frustrated Public Works Director Tim Gross and City Manager Spencer Nebel Monday night, that the city’s role in the project – moneywize – has grown to over $200,000 since its inception last year when it was only $52,000.
Numerous new crosswalks, some with pedestrian-safe refuge islands as depicted above for a Highway 101 crossing at Abbey Street, and for a bullnose out-crop type crosswalk near the City Hall Farmer’s Market, are still only in the planning phases after more than a half year of city negotiations with ODOT. City Public Works Director Tim Gross said the city has been forced to cough up more and more money for the project due to complications in fulfillng ODOT and federal funding procedures. Gross said the city’s portion of the cost has gone from $52,000 now to over $200,000. Gross also lamented that if the city walks away from the project, it would still be on the hook for all of the design work that has so far gone into it.
Faced with such a Faustian choice, the council decided to move ahead with the project and for Nebel to draw up a letter to ODOT stating that the $200K local share will have to do.
Gross said if there are no more glitches in the process, the project might get underway after the upcoming summer tourist season is over – then to be completed before the winter rains set in.