Hamilton Sidewalk, Drainage Project Begins Next Week

Crews next week are expected to begin installing more sidewalks and drainage systems through the heart of Hamilton.

M&F Construction will be working on the town’s Pedestrian Improvement and Drainage Project, which will improve the sidewalk along the north side of Colonial Highway from Ivandale Street to the Reid Street intersection, where Lowry’s Crab Shack is located. Currently, the sidewalk there is level with the highway and narrow. M&F also will install a stormwater management system from Lowry’s to Sydnor Street, which will connect with another system that VDOT previously installed.

M&F is performing the work under a $339,404 contract with the town. Mayor Dave Simpson said the project should take 30 to 45 days to complete.

The project is costing the town about $350,000 in all, including the engineering work J2 Engineers performed. It’s paid for by a close-to $500,000 Capital Improvement Project grant the county government previously awarded the town.

The work is part of the town’s broader goal to increase pedestrian accessibility and safety. Last year, M&F installed sidewalks along Colonial Highway between Laycock Street and St. Paul Street.

Simpson said that project was aided by the culture shift resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; as more people stayed off the roads, crews were able to move the project along faster than expected. In the summer, they were able to work 6- to 12-hour days six days a week.

Up next, Simpson said the town will search for funding to install sidewalks along the southern side of Colonial Highway between South St. Paul Street and Harmony Church Road. That project includes a pedestrian island in the center of town along Colonial Highway, which Simpson said would benefit students walking to and from Hamilton Elementary School.

In general, Simpson said the town is becoming more of a pedestrian-friendly community.

“People are just ecstatic [about being able] to walk on both sides of the street,” he said.

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