Carlisle Borough Staff Performs Pedestrian Curb Ramp Upgrades

Borough takes on in-house construction of a portion of curb ramp upgrades – $75,000 savings realized in 2019

 In an effort to stretch the Borough’s annual allocation of State Highway Aid that is provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Municipal Liquid Fuels Program*, the Borough has assumed in-house construction of a portion of required curb ramp upgrades.

The Borough depends heavily upon the Liquid Fuels Program to perform maintenance and repairs to Borough-owned streets, pedestrian facilities, and traffic signals. Carlisle has over 57 miles of Borough-owned streets; approximately 1,400 pedestrian curb ramps; and, 44 traffic signals.

From 2015 through 2017, the Borough used an average of about $220,000 per year from its state liquid fuel fund allocation to reconstruct pedestrian curb ramps to meet current accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act. During this period, the Borough relied on outside contractors to complete the necessary curb ramp upgrades. In 2018, the Borough assumed responsibility for construction of 30 percent of the required upgrades, with an outside contractor completing the other 70 percent.

Borough Manager Susan Armstrong noted, “Although the Borough receives approximately $540,000+ from the Liquid Fuels Program, the Borough’s road and pedestrian infrastructure needs far outweigh the grant dollars received. Thus, we are always seeking cost-effective ways to stretch each dollar.”

Borough engineer, Mark Malarich added, “We were successful in completing half of the needed pedestrian curb ramp upgrades in-house in 2019, which ultimately saved the Borough over $75,000 in liquid fuel grant funding. The savings realized was then used to pave additional miles of Borough-owned streets.”

The Borough plans to continue this practice in 2020.

* With the Liquid Fuels Tax Act, the Pennsylvania Legislature established a state sales tax on products such as gasoline. PennDOT then allocates a portion of the revenue from these taxes annually to counties and municipalities.