Walking Path Replacement Underway In Berlin

Walking Path Replacement Underway In Berlin
The scrap tire path at Stephen Decatur Park has been removed and will be replaced with asphalt. Photo by Charlene Sharpe.

BERLIN– Work to replace the walking path at Stephen Decatur Park is now underway.

Crews are at the park this week pulling up the scrap tire path that circles the property. It will be replaced with an asphalt walking path.

“They expect to start on the path sometime this week,” Acting Town Administrator Mary Bohlen said.

Bohlen told the Berlin Town Council Monday night that crews from George & Lynch had started staging equipment in Stephen Decatur Park in preparation for replacing the path. The company will replace the path at the park and then move on to pave several streets in town.  Paving is set to occur on Stevenson Lane, the east section of Graham Avenue and Decatur Street.

“Those properties are all being notified,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said.

Bohlen said properties on the affected streets would be provided with fliers advising them of the paving work. She said the park path would be done first and then the crews would move to Graham Avenue.

Jamey Latchum, the town’s director of water resources, said that because Stevenson United Methodist Church operated its Spirit Kitchen on Wednesdays, crews would try to work around that so as not to impact pantry operations.

“Some people depend on getting that food every week,” Latchum said.

Park users are eager to see the walking path replaced. While the condition of the scrap tire path, built in 2009, has been a cause for concern for years, there hasn’t been funding to repair it. While replacing it with asphalt will cost about $80,000, set to come from an increase in highway user revenues from the state, replacing the path with in-kind material would have cost more than $400,000.

The replacement has been endorsed by the Berlin Parks Commission, as citizens have slipped and fallen on the tire path in recent years, as it cracked and buckled in various places.

“Obviously it’d be desirable to repair it in kind but that is just not practical,” Bohlen said earlier this year. “As it turned out when the pathway was originally installed it was found it should not have been installed this far north. The freezing and thawing is what has caused problems over the years. We were an experiment.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.