Sidewalks will offer smooth, safe access
By jeanne starmack
Right now, it isn’t that smooth a ride from the Campus Health Care Center up the street to the Liberty Mini Mart.
But soon Chris Seawood, the care center’s numbers runner, will have an easier time of making his daily journeys to the corner of Colonial Drive and Belmont Avenue in his power chair for the residents, who love the lottery.
“He goes up three times a day to the convenience store to get the daily numbers,” said his friend and fellow resident Mark Meszaros.
After this summer, his ride will be a lot less bumpy.
Trumbull County is going to put in a sidewalk along Colonial Drive from Fifth Avenue to Belmont on the North Side, the same side of the street as the care center.
It’s an idea that’s been seven years in the making, Meszaros said as he, Seawood and Liberty Township Administrator Pat Ungaro gathered near the entrance of the care center recently under a beautiful blue sky — a perfect setting for some quality outdoor time.
There are two people at the home right now with motorized chairs, Meszaros said, but even those who have regular wheelchairs can still get out by themselves or with help from someone who pushes them.
The push for a sidewalk began as a conversation between him and township Trustee Jodi Stoyak seven years ago, Meszaros said.
“There was virtually no real berm on the side of the road,” he said. In fact, there was a big ditch in front of the care center.
“We got the [county] engineer to extend the berm, and that allowed them to get to Belmont,” Stoyak said.
She said the lack of a sidewalk has been a safety issue for the rest of the neighborhood as well, and the project is for everyone.
“So they can walk safely,” she said. “It’s dangerous!”
Ungaro said there have been other complaints.
“It’s not just the nursing home,” he said.
Two years ago, the county was awarded a grant for the sidewalk for $128,000. The grant is from federal transportation enhancement funds that were distributed through the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, said Gary Shaffer, an engineer with the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office.
The county will pay a $40,000 local share toward the project, which the township will pay back in three installments. The project will begin July 17.
“Groundbreaking!” said Meszaros. “Fantastic!”