Harper Road sidewalk projects ‘moving forward’ — Two separate projects to extend from near I-40 to Jerry Long Family YMCA

Published 12:10 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

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CLEMMONS — Village Manager Mike Gunnell provided an update on the long and winding road involving sidewalk projects along Harper Road in Monday night’s council meeting.

The two separate projects involving EB-6040, the Harper Road sidewalk project north of Fair Oaks Drive to Morgan Elementary School, and EB-5960 from Morgan Elementary to the Jerry Long Family YMCA were both approved last year after a transfer of federal funding from the U.S. 158 sidewalk project.

“Currently, the projects are in the design mode,” Gunnell said. “We received 30 percent complete drawings on Friday, and those drawings were also submitted to DOT for initial comment, so I just wanted to let you know it’s still moving forward. Hopefully, we’ll start construction in the summer of 2024.”

It was about this time last year that council member Mike Combest, the village’s Transportation Advisory Committee representative, reported that a proposal to adjust and transfer more than $2.1 million in grant funding for the two sidewalks projects along Harper Road had been approved by the TAC through the Winston-Salem Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Combest, the council’s TAC representative, attended a meeting in January 2022 and learned if the council decided it wanted to shift funds to a different study because the situation or priorities may have changed without losing those funds, it would be allowed to do so.

So when Gunnell told the council about several sidewalk projects approved by the TAC in his first meeting after being named the new manager last February — and reiterated funds could be moved from one project to another, Combest recommended proceeding with the two Harper Road sidewalk projects.

That came after Gunnell said he wanted to gauge the council’s pulse regarding what projects could be done and looking at moving funds from one project to another or possibly delaying one of the projects.

That was in reference to the U.S. 158 sidewalk project, considering the DOT was then looking at doing a feasibility study for widening the busy road from Lewisville-Clemmons Road to Harper Road. Idols Road was the other sidewalk under consideration, and Combest’s motion at the time, which was approved unanimously, called for the two Harper Road projects first, and Idols Road after they are completed — with U.S. 158 being the fourth priority.

Combest provided details at the time for the TAC’s approval of the Clemmons proposal to adjust grant funding (Surface Transportation Block Grant — Direct Attributable (STBG-DA) in the 2020-2029 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program.

The village requested funding for two sidewalk projects along Harper Road — EB-5960 and EB-6040 — proposing to transfer grant funding from Project U-4741PE (U.S. 158 Sidewalk and Yadkin River Greenway, Phase l) to the Harper Road sidewalk projects and to transfer $738,640 in federal funds from U-4741PE to EB-6040 and $1,371,760 in federal funds from U-4741PE to EB-5960. The proposed federal funding amounts for EB-6040 and EB-5960 were $1,269,840 and $2,371,760, respectively.

Also, in Monday night’s meeting, the council received a quarterly stormwater update from Emily Harrison, stormwater technician II. She reported that there were a total of 52 projects from April through June — including 23 structure repairs and 24 right-of-way ditch projects.

Harrison added that one major CIP project was completed at Tanglebrook Trail along with five minor culvert replacements — Briar Creek, Bramble Bush Court, Forest Manor Drive, Lake Cliff Drive and Rivermont Drive — with many of them 50 or 60 years old.

“We’re replacing a lot of our infrastructure to help preserve our roadways longer,” Harrison said.
Harrison also introduced Shey Washburn, the new stormwater technician I, to the council.

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

  • Selected the date of Monday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m., prior to the first regularly scheduled meeting that month, for a secondary follow-up retreat after the earlier retreat in 2023.
  • Called for a public hearing for Zoning Docket C-254 of real property owned by Highland Azure LLC from HB-S (Highway Business — Special) to GB-S (General Business — Special) at 4725 Commercial Park Court with a total of 1.76 acres.
  • Approved Resolution 2023-R-12 authorizing an increase in the federal micro-purchase threshold. Ann Stroud, finance director, explained this will allow the village to use state thresholds for the American Rescue Plan funds, which have to be updated annually.
  • Approved a budget amendment involving reappropriating leftover grant funding of $1,400 from the last fiscal year for the community garden so it can be spent this fiscal year for an Eagle Scout project to replace the fencing around the garden.
  • Heard from Mayor Mike Rogers regarding council member Bradley Taylor receiving a prestigious award from Boy Scouts of America — the 2023 Alumnus of the Year — Monday night in West Virginia.