By Michael J. DeCicco
DIGHTON – This fall, over $ 118,000 worth of road renewals will make the city much more accessible to urbanites with disabilities.
City Disability Commission chairman Jonathan Gale uses himself as an example of what these improvements mean for the community.
He uses a white stick to move because he’s blind.
“Because of the curb cuts, there will be sidewalks that tell me where the street is,” he said.
“Without them, I didn’t know where to cross. With these changes, people – seniors, parents with strollers – no longer have to worry about losing their balance on a sidewalk trying to cross it.”
The city recently received approximately $ 118,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Shared Streets and Spaces grant to install new, clearly delineated crosswalks for pedestrians and Americans with disabilities-compliant curb ramps, curb cuts, and wheelchair-accessible sidewalks.
City Administrator Michael Mullen said Fall River contractor LAL Construction will begin work this fall and the project is expected to be completed by the end of the fall.
He said the work is the result of a collaboration between the city and those hardest hit by the state of city streets.
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“The city has worked with local residents, the road surveyor and the Disability Commission to identify accessible roads, sidewalks and intersections in Dighton so that all residents can safely access the streets of Dighton,” said Mullen.
Each area of the city receives the upgrades.
Curb ramps and curbs will be installed on Main and Elm, Warner Boulevard and Spring Streets, Lincoln Avenue and the intersections of School Street and Johnny’s Market, Summer and Spring Streets, and the sidewalks of Bow, Spruce and Winter Streets.
Pedestrian crossings and two ADA-compliant curb ramps will also be on Center Street near Berkley-Dighton Bridge, next to Bristol County Agricultural High School, Main Street near the public library, Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Village Senior Housing and the Lincoln Avenue Spring. set up road junction.
“In any city with disabilities, there is always a segment of the population who would like better accessibility,” said Gale. “Dighton is a city that never had many resources to upgrade. Until this approval. “
When the grant became available, he, Highway Department head Tom Ferry, and Selectman Brett Zografos applied quickly, he said. It was a team effort and he thanks both of them for their support.
The grant will be used to upgrade 13 separate intersections across the city, he explained.
“These curbs and crossings will make these streets more accessible to the disabled and the elderly,” he said.
But these aren’t the only ones whose lives are getting better.
“In doing so, it makes the streets of Dighton easier and safer for all of our citizens,” he said.
“Children and students walking to school or to the library. Mothers with their strollers. Since the 13 intersections are spread across the city, this is an inclusive city. Hopefully this award will lead to many other scholarships and projects like this one.”