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Washington Voices

Manito installs curvy sidewalk

Thu., Aug. 1, 2013

A curving sidewalk has replaced the straight one on the south edge of Manito Park. (Jesse Tinsley)
A curving sidewalk has replaced the straight one on the south edge of Manito Park. (Jesse Tinsley)

There’s a new sidewalk on 25th Avenue along the south side of Manito Park, and its curves makes it different from most other sidewalks in town.

Manito Park horticulture supervisor Steve Nittolo said the old sidewalk was sunken and broken, creating tripping hazards and collecting water and ice in the winter.

Roots from big shade trees near the sidewalk also contributed to cracks in the cement.

Rather than building a new sidewalk on top of the same tree roots – and in an effort to make more room for the trees – the old sidewalk was torn out and planted with grass. The new sidewalk curves around the trees, away from the street.

“I was trying to provide an example of what you can do with good management of trees and sidewalks,” Nittolo said.

The new sidewalk runs along 25th Avenue between Park Drive and Tekoa Street and cost $20,040 – that’s $7,000 more than the cost of replacing a straight sidewalk in the old location. Friends of Manito donated the difference.

“There was no extra cost to the park,” Nittolo said.

Nittolo said a curved sidewalk may be a solution for private property owners who are tired of repeatedly replacing sidewalks because tree roots make them buckle.

“A private homeowner should make sure a curved sidewalk stays within the city’s right of way,” Nittolo said. “Sometimes the right of way ends at the edge of the current sidewalk – sometimes it extends beyond the sidewalk.”

Nittolo said this kind of sidewalk is a great idea in areas where big trees like maples and sycamores have completely filled out planting strips.

Park staff is also doing some maintenance work along South Tekoa Street, where a steep slope has deteriorated and covered the curb on the west side of the street.

“There never were any sidewalks on Tekoa, so we are not putting any in,” Nittolo said. “We are just doing some excavation trying to make the slope easier to maintain.”

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