City holds off on part of controversial sidewalk project

Michael Lopardi

City holds off on part of controversial sidewalk project

CREATED Mar. 25, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The city of Las Vegas is holding off on part of a controversial sidewalk project after Action News aired the concerns of homeowners.

Last week, construction crews were installing asphalt sidewalks in front of several homes on the south side of Oakey Boulevard just east of Rancho Drive. On Monday, the orange cones and equipment were gone.

"The day you did the story, that evening, they came out and they took down all of the cones that are on the street here," said homeowner Chris Coombs.

Coombs and some of his neighbors turned to Action News last week upset over the project.

Coombs said he was given only one day's notice about the work. He also said he spent roughly $2,000 to put a brick path in his front yard but is afraid it will be torn up. If nothing else, Coombs said the new sidewalks should be concrete, not asphalt.

"It's ugly," said Coombs. "It looks unfinished and these are nice homes over here and we don't want to have asphalt sidewalks. It just looks temporary."

Other neighbors had their own concerns.

"Pull up the plants, the trees, the landscaping, the yard," said Carol Cali, whose family owns a home along the street. "It just seems really unfair."

The city of Las Vegas is required to fill the missing gaps in the sidewalks in order to qualify for federal funding to repave Oakey Boulevard, said city spokeswoman Diana Paul.

The city said it installed the asphalt sidewalks at no costs to the homeowners. Typically, concrete sidewalks could cost homeowners thousands of dollars. The new sidewalks are expected to improve pedestrian safety along a stretch of road that is missing sidewalks, the city told Action News last week.

But after Action News aired the concerns of neighbors, crews shifted their focus to another neighborhood in order to meet deadline and make sure the project qualifies for federal funding, Paul said.

At this point, the sidewalks near Oakey and Rancho are on hold to give the city time to meet with concerned homeowners, Paul said. Still, the city will likely have to install sidewalks along that stretch of Oakey at some point, she said.

It's unclear when the city will meet with homeowners. Roughly $2.5 million in federal funding is at stake, Paul said.

Coombs said he is not opposed to sidewalks, he just wants a say in what happens to his front yard.

"I think they need sidewalks," said Coombs. "But I think jumping the gun putting in asphalt where everybody else has concrete is probably a mistake."