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Council favors replacing sidewalk on Sumner Avenue Hill

Humboldt Mayor Walter Jensen (left) and Council member Joel Goodell (right) favor restructuring the sidewalk on the west side of the Sumner Avenue Hill, rather than relocating the walkway to Lewis Street. Humboldt Independent photos.

After some preliminary discussions, the Humboldt City Council is looking at relocating the retaining wall around the Sumner Avenue curve west of the bridge and making the sidewalk wider in that area for pedestrian traffic.
The council heard from Derek Johnson, professional engineer with Schlofeldt Engineering of Webster City. Johnson presented the council with a couple of different alternatives. One was to close Lewis Street to vehicular traffic between Hall Street and Sumner Avenue, and place a 1,400 linear foot sidewalk on Lewis Street, thus removing pedestrian traffic from the busy Sumner Avenue.
Johnson said the route would be a about a half a block longer on Lewis Street and the walking grade would be about 3 percent higher on Lewis Street than on Sumner.
The second option would be to leave the sidewalk on the west side of Sumner Avenue while relocating the retaining wall and making the sidewalk at least five feet wide instead of the current four feet. Johnson said there is enough right of way to make the sidewalk wide and move the retaining wall back a couple of feet.
“There would be a five-foot clear zone with a one foot physical barrier. We would need to relocate a couple of existing MidAmerican Energy power poles and we have contacted them about the possibility of doing that,” Johnson told the council.
City leaders seemed more keen on making Sumner Avenue safer for pedestrians than relocating pedestrian traffic to Lewis Street. To read more about the council's deliberations, pick up a copy of this week's Humboldt Independent at your local retailer, or subscribe to the print or online editions by clicking on the link above.