The city of Asheville’s tearing up of a sidewalk at the corner of Battery Park Avenue and Wall Street resulted in a flurry of complaints from business owners, but the city public-works director now says things are going to change.
The construction is to install steel grating around three trees located along the sidewalk there. The project stemmed from complaints to the city about people falling down. Previously, the trees had been surrounded by a thin layer of sand and gravel. Constant foot traffic led to the gravel being kicked out, resulting in a dip in the sidewalk that sometimes caused falls or twisted ankles.
Then, says Project Works Director Mark Combs, came claims against the city. “There were some claims from folks that had tripped in that shale-type stuff,” Combs told Xpress.
“We decided to do it right,” he says. “To put in the grates.”
But when jackhammers started up on Monday morning, surrounding business owners were not pleased. Combs and his staff met with a few business owners on Tuesday, and he says the jackhammering will now take place before business hours so as not to run off foot traffic.
“I said to the guys, ‘Let’s do the dust and noise early,’” Combs says.
Meanwhile, workers have poured the first slab of concrete. The project is expected to be completed in about two weeks, Combs said.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer