UDOT to upgrade crosswalks for the disabled

May 23 2011 - 9:21am

LAYTON -- Main Street in Layton and Clearfield soon should be easier to traverse for those with vision problems and other disabilities.

Utah Department of Transportation crews have begun work on a project to make crosswalks in Layton and Clearfield compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Along Main Street, from Church Street in Layton to 300 North in Clearfield, UDOT will upgrade 75 pedestrian crossing ramps.

UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the state will install special pads, built into sidewalk concrete and road asphalt, that indicate where the sidewalk ends and the roadway begins.

"It's just a bright yellow pad with big bumps on it that allows those with sight challenges to be able to feel where the curb meets the roadway," Saunders said. "It just helps those folks transition between the curb and the roadway."

The state also will make the crossing areas more wheelchair-friendly.

In 2006, UDOT conducted an inventory of all intersections along state roads to identify possible barriers to pedestrian accessibility, in order to provide safer and easier routes for those with disabilities within the entire state road system.

UDOT will make upgrades or construct new ramps on at least 30 percent of primary pedestrian access points across the state every three years, with 100 percent completion expected by the end of 2016.

There are approximately 14,000 total locations for the construction and upgrades statewide.

In 2006, the Utah State Transportation Commission allocated $1 million per year on an as-needed basis to make the upgrades.

Saunders said the state tries to make the upgrades when other construction work is set to take place on a roadway, a process the state says saves time and money.

UDOT is placing a seal coating on the section of Main Street where the upgrades are taking place.

Saunders said minor lane restrictions will occur at intersections where work is being done.

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