ADA ramps coming to The Dalles…slowly

One example of an approved ADA curb cut

One startling figure emerged from last night’s meeting of The Dalles City Council. No, it wasn’t the $70.7 million dollar 2019-2020 city budget that was adopted by the council after some discussion. The figure of interest was 62 years. That’s how many years it will take to equip all of the curbs at city intersection with ramps approved by the Americans With Disabilities Act regulations, under a plan also approved by the council. Public Works Director Dave Anderson explained it this way:

“We have close to 900 existing intersections with sidewalks that don’t currently comply,” he said. “the ramps aren’t complying or the ramps don’t exist, and another over 800 intersections that don’t have sidewalks associated with them, a backlog of about 1600 crossings to improve.

And, he noted, they are not inexpensive:

“We have in the plan used a pretty conservative number of about $2,000 per ramp. There are 8 ramps per intersection, so we’re looking around $16,000 per intersection.

And $16,000 per intersection times 1600 intersections = $25.6 million. This year, the plan is to spend $100,000, enough to do about 6 and one quarter intersections. That will rise to $125,000 each for the following four years, after which the five-year plan will have to be renewed