The Town of Twisp will seek a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for a $1.62 million sidewalk improvement project on the east end of town.
An application for the grant was approved by the Town Council at its meeting last week.
The project would add sidewalks and other improvements on the north side of Highway 20, generally from the Blue Star Coffee Roasters building to the Methow River bridge. The project is intended to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to use that part of the highway. Pedestrian crosswalks would be added in three places.
According to the bid proposal, the project would include about 1,525 feet of new sidewalks, ADA-compliant curbs and ramps, pedestrian crossings, driveways, some traffic sign relocations and street lighting.
Public Works Director Andrew Denham said the application for the WSDOT grant represents the town’s best estimate of what the project will cost. “I feel pretty good about the number,” he said. “It identifies our needs, and should be adequate.”
The council earlier discussed including the addition of a pedestrian walkway to the Methow River bridge, but Denham said that would complicate and likely delay the overall project, which could jeopardize the funding available from WSDOT.
“The sidewalk is very much needed,” he said.
One of the crosswalks — which will have user-activated flashing lights to alert motorists that a pedestrian is using the crossing — will be at the Blue Star building because of the anticipated foot traffic in that area.
Denham said it will likely be several months before WSDOT lets the town know if the grant application is approved.