Cornwall staff recommend removing sidewalk

The sidewalk on the east side of Dunkirk Street at Vimy Avenue on Saturday, March 26, 2022. City staff are recommending the sidewalk be torn out when the street is rebuilt. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Update 9:15 p.m. Monday: Council agreed to remove the sidewalk when the street is rebuilt. Infrastructure Manager Michael Fawthrop told council that will be “within the next five years” based on the rate of wear and tear on the street.

CORNWALL – While Cornwall is adding and improving infrastructure, city staff are recommending a sidewalk on a residential street be torn out.

The sidewalk on the east side of Dunkirk Street runs from Vimy Avenue to Twelfth Street East. There is another sidewalk on the west side of Dunkirk.

While tearing it out as a separate project would cost $40,000, Infrastructure Manager Michael Fawthrop recommends it be done when the street is reconstructed in order to save money.

A city report says the street has a concrete base with many layers of asphalt and is in poor condition as well as the concrete sidewalks are “very poor.”

In the case of Dunkirk, Fawthrop writes that sidewalks on both sides of the street are not necessary, but cautions that removing a sidewalk based on a petition “is a challenging precedent.”

Many of the houses on Dunkirk were built in the 1940s and the setbacks from the road were not at today’s standards, leading to insufficient driveway space.

“Although this may appear to be an isolated issue, there are many similar streets within the city which were constructed particularly during the ‘war-time’ period of the 1940s (older and more dense neighbourhoods) with the same issue,” Fawthrop writes.

Residents on the street petitioned last summer for the sidewalk’s removal.

The sidewalk on the east side of Dunkirk Street on Saturday, March 26, 2022. City staff say the sidewalk is not built to today’s standards and the setbacks of the war-time era homes has led to cramped parking in driveways along the street. They are recommending the sidewalk be torn out when the road is rebuilt. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)