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Northampton City Hall sidewalk project underway

  • Northampton city hall File photo



@BeraDunau
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — Construction began Monday for renovations designed to improve accessibility on the sidewalks around City Hall.

As a result of the construction, fencing has gone up around City Hall and its rear parking lot. However, Mayor David Narkewicz said that access to City Hall and the Walter J. Puchalski Municipal Building has been preserved.

“We’re trying to make sure people have access to the building,” said Narkewicz.

Narkewicz, who announced the construction last week, said it was made possible by a $250,000 grant from the state for accessibility improvements, to bring the sidewalk network around the City Hall campus in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Handicapped parking improvements, pedestrian crossing safety improvement and hand railings will also be a part of the construction, and will be covered by the money.

“We worked with the disability commission,” said Narkewicz, who said the City Hall campus was given a high priority by the commission.

The state money must be spent no later than June 30. However, Planning and Sustainability Director Wayne Feiden said the city has spent $25,000 of its own money on design, and has $30,000 of city money available as a contingency.

“We’re committed to accessibility,” Narkewicz said.

Both men also noted that 25 percent of what the state gave out statewide in this cycle of grants went to Northampton.