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Town Council 'paves the way' for sidewalk on Milwaukee Avenue

Posted 6/6/24

ORANGE PARK — The town council voted 4-0 last Tuesday,  with Mayor Randy Anderson absent, to  finance a sidewalk along Milwaukee Avenue between Plainfield Avenue and Carnes Street . …

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Town Council 'paves the way' for sidewalk on Milwaukee Avenue


Posted

ORANGE PARK — The town council voted 4-0 last Tuesday, with Mayor Randy Anderson absent, to finance a sidewalk along Milwaukee Avenue between Plainfield Avenue and Carnes Street.

On June 25, 2019, the council provisioned $250,000 for the sidewalk spanning Dudley Branch Creek. Five years later, rising and unexpected costs resulted in the lowest bid for that same project to be worth $1.1 million. 

"This project has had a long and difficult history," Town Manager Sarah Campbell said during last Tuesday's meeting. 

"We set aside about $250,000 to build this sidewalk. The piece between Plainfield and Carnes — where Dudley Branch crosses — has never had a sidewalk there," Campbell said. 

Campbell said the goal was to promote pedestrian safety and connectivity. In 2019, bids for the projects came back over double what the council anticipated, about $538,000. 

In March of 2023, Orange Park's staff submitted an appropriation request to Florida Rep. Sam Garrison and Florida Sen. Jennifer Bradley. The request was approved, and $500,000 of state funds were provisioned for the remainder of the project.  

"But when we bid it out this year... the lowest bid now is $1.1 million. So, that still leaves us short. But if we get creative, I think there is a way to fund it."

The council approved Campbell's plan to use the remaining $344,670 of unspent ARPA funds from previous projects — since ARPA funds must all be spent by Dec. 31 — and $150,000 pulled from the general fund. 

Because of the terrain, the construction is envisioned to include 390 ft. of elevated boardwalk with 460 ft. of concrete sidewalk. 

"That is a long run of elevated boardwalk," Campbell said. "That's what makes it very complicated. It's not a basic sidewalk."