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Sidewalk hazards are being repaired

Uneven sidewalks on Central Avenue in downtown Medford will no longer rankle businesses and pedestrians after KOGAP Enterprises Inc. finishes repairs over the next two weeks.

"We're going to be taking care of the tripping hazard on the sidewalk," said Jason Twedell, foreman for KOGAP.

Twedell said it should take about two more weeks to complete the repairs, which require pulling up pavers and reworking tree wells. Under the $69,235 contract with the city, KOGAP has until June 30 to finish the job. The metal grates around the tree wells will be removed, and pressure-treated wood will be installed as a frame for the sidewalk.

The city decided to fix the heaving and sinking pavers after it received complaints from adjacent business owners.

Typically, the city requires adjacent property owners to pay for repairs, but officials conceded the sidewalks were not installed correctly and root barriers were not placed around some trees when the Medford Urban Renewal Agency paid $900,000 for the work 12 years ago.

In February, the City Council decided to spend $300,000 to fix sidewalks on Central Avenue from Fourth to 10th streets so they will lay flat and not present a tripping hazard.

Alex Georgevitch, deputy public works director, said the KOGAP work could run higher if repairs are more extensive than anticipated. However, under the contract, the extra repairs can only go up another 25 percent, he said.

In addition to the KOGAP repairs, the city is working on another bid to fix ADA ramps along Central as part of the $300,000 approved by the council.

The ramps are also made of pavers, which will be torn out in some locations and replaced with solid concrete, Georgevitch said.

Most of the thick pavers are in good shape, but some have cracked and will be replaced by KOGAP.

— Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.