Ogden giving residents time to complete landscaping after Harrison road project

Friday , April 21, 2017 - 5:00 AM1 comment

MITCH SHAW, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — After Ogden’s reconstruction of Harrison Boulevard, a long-time resident there says he’s concerned about the appearance of his neighborhood.

But the city says the project has already improved some of the aesthetics there, and those improvements should continue in the coming months as residents fulfill landscaping commitments.

Patrick Barnes has lived on north Harrison Boulevard for 27 years. The Ogden resident says some of the yards there have been left “incomplete” after the city finished a $6 million reconstruction on the road in November.

• RELATED: Harrison Boulevard reopening soon after six months of construction

Nearly six months after completion of the project, Barnes says, there are still spots in which parking strips and portions of front yards remain unsodded, developing weeds in the absence of grass. Barnes says he’s also concerned about high slopes created by the project in some front yards along the street.

Barnes said corners near Sheridan Drive are particular trouble spots.

“I’m really not trying to create any controversy with the city here,” Barnes. “But a lot of these yards are in an incomplete condition, and I just want my neighborhood to look good.”

The city began work to reconstruct the road last spring. As part of the six-month project, Harrison was widened by an average of 7 feet on both sides of the road, between Seventh Street and 450 North.

The project also included a center turn lane, a bike lane, new and improved sidewalks, reconfigured intersections for safety and more room for on-street parking.

Ogden Engineer Justin Anderson said aesthetics were considered heavily during the project, and the city constructed the new road not just for function and safety, but also to be pleasing to the eye. Among other things, Anderson pointed to the new sidewalks and curbing and a more modern street lighting system as evidence of that.

• RELATED: Construction to widen Harrison Boulevard in Ogden starts Monday

Anderson said he’s aware some yards aren’t completely landscaped, but that’s something the city has been anticipating since the project wrapped up in the late fall.

Before the project began, the city acquired and demolished two homes to facilitate construction. It also took portions of 23 other properties. During those property acquisition negotiations, Anderson said, residents were given the option to have the city take care of unfinished landscaping, or receive money to do it themselves.

“We signed contracts with all of the residents, and the ones that wanted their own landscaping, we paid them out with what’s called the ‘cost to cure,’ ” Anderson said, “the money it would cost a professional to come in and do it.”

Anderson said the homes with “incomplete” yards are owned by residents who wanted to do their own landscaping designs. He said the city wants to be fair and allow those residents plenty of time to finish their yards.

“We finished the project late last year, right before winter,” he said. “So, some of those residents who wanted the money to do their own landscaping, they haven’t really had a chance to do it yet. It’s April and irrigation just barely turned on. They’re going to need some time.”

Anderson said yard slopes are the same or better since the project has been completed. He said if residents don’t fulfill contractual commitments to finish landscaping, code enforcement would be considered, but that won’t happen for months.

“Again, this was our project, so we’re trying to be fair and give people the time they need,” he said. 

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mitchshaw.standardexaminer/.

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