Pedestrians in Franklin will again have to dodge sidewalk construction as workers replace walkways that are less than a year old.
But don’t worry about another long stretch of construction in downtown Franklin. The work should only take a few weeks to complete and isn’t costing taxpayers anything extra.
The concrete surface on sidewalks in multiple places around East Court and West Court streets had started to flake off. Workers started Monday the job of breaking up the concrete and replacing it.
The sidewalks are still under warranty, so construction company Dave O’Mara Contractor is replacing them at no cost to the city, city engineer Travis Underhill said.
Franklin spent about $3 million to redo downtown parking lots, replace sidewalks around the courthouse square and rebuild East Court and West Court streets last year. That project finished in September, meaning the sidewalks are less than a year old.
The contractors have already torn up the areas that need to be replaced except for a small portion around the monument on the north side of the courthouse, Underhill said. The torn-up sidewalks should all be replaced in about two weeks, weather permitting, he said.
“It may be a minor inconvenience, but we’re not tearing up a whole sidewalk, and we’re not going to relive this all again. It’s just some areas,” Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said.
The city inspected the work about a month ago and found that about a quarter of the sidewalks were beginning to flake and fall apart, McGuinness said. The city rejected the work, and the contractor agreed to get it replaced.
“It’s obviously not what we paid for, and the contractor said they would make it right,” McGuinness said. “The right thing for us to do was to reject the parts that were not in great shape already, and the contractor didn’t hesitate.”
Underhill and McGuinness didn’t know why some of the sidewalks began to chip while others are fine. The extremely cold winter may have played a part in damaging the sidewalks, McGuinness said.
Warranty work has also been done on some of the landscaping that was installed as part of the project. Landscapers have replaced some dead trees and replanted flowers and bushes that didn’t survive the fall and winter, McGuinness said.