Pelham installing sidewalks off Bearden Road

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham officials soon will move one step closer to installing a network of sidewalks along Bearden Road near Pelham City Park and Pelham High School.

The Pelham City Council recently approved a $222,265 bid from Burnett Civil Contracting to complete a portion of the project, which will include sidewalks in Pelham City Park from Bearden Road to U.S. 31.

The city originally estimated the City Park project would cost $272,265, but a lower-than-expected bid means the sidewalks in the park will be funded entirely by federal stimulus money.

Once installed, the sidewalks will begin at the bridge near the intersection of Bearden Road and Ballpark Road, and will connect Bearden Road with U.S. 31 near the Pelham Parks and Recreation Department.

“The bids came in a lot lower than we thought they would, so we were able to pay for it 100 percent with federal stimulus funds,” said Pelham Mayor Don Murphy. “This is just part of our plan to install sidewalks across the city of Pelham.”

The city is also looking to secure federal money to install sidewalks along Bearden Road from Pelham High School to Pelham City Park, Murphy said.

“I’d like the next phase to go all the way up to the high school,” Murphy said. “That will tie all those subdivisions together, and give people a good way to walk around that area.

“Hopefully, what we are doing now will just be a beginning,” Murphy added. “If you’re going to eat an elephant, you’ve got to do it one bite at a time.”

Currently, some who park along Bearden Road for football games and members of the high school’s sports teams are forced to walk or run in the roadway, he said.

“If you’re out there running for the track or cross country team, you don’t really have a choice but to run in the road or on the side of the road,” Murphy said. “It would help people who park on that road for ball games, too.

“Eventually, we would like to have the sidewalks run all along 31 and through the whole city,” Murphy added.