Pavers Place

Published 2:41 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PRINCE EDWARD — The pavers in front of the County’s courthouse may be in line for an extreme makeover.

“As you know, my office is across the street, I cross it several times a day,” Attorney Jill Dickerson offered in the public comment portion of the board of supervisors’ October meeting. “My office overlooks it. I see other people crossing it many times during the day and it’s gotten in a terrible state of disrepair.”

The bricks, she said, are uneven, cracked, have come apart, and filled with sand, which she added doesn’t do a lot of good when you have a spiked heel on.

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“I’ve caught and ruined a number of shoes in those cracks between the bricks,” she said. “I think it’s in an unsafe condition and I think it’s in an unsightly condition,” Dickerson told the board. “You know the Town spent a lot of money to improve the sidewalks to make that look nice and it really shows how bad our courthouse walkway looks.”

Dickerson asked that the board support putting the project out to bid, adding that it would improve the looks of the courthouse immensely and make it a lot safer.

County supervisors, following some discussion at the end of their agenda, agreed to take a look at the cost, as well as options in seeking bids.

“…They’re all different sizes so you cannot lay them side-by-side, at least in a herringbone pattern,” County Administrator Wade Bartlett said of the multi-colored pavers that have been part of the courthouse landscape since 1938. “Therefore, you have to have gaps between ’em because of the different sizes of the bricks and/or pavers…What has happened is because they’re sand-filled, and that’s what usually holds ’em in, women with narrow heels tend to sink in there and that does cause some problems.”

Over the years, he further cited, the pavers have become “uneven and kind of wavy” and grass is a “never-ending battle.”

“To solve that problem will require the pavers to be removed, excavate underneath to give you a level base, then pour concrete underlayment…to about a four inch depth and then mortar in the brick, the pavers, onto that so that there is a solid base and a solid fill in the gaps,” Bartlett said.

That, he told the board, is projected to cost $20,000.

In the end, the board agreed to seek bids to re-lay the pavers and other options (with Gantt abstaining).

Whether it will get addressed now or in the future, however, is uncertain.

“We’ve got a lot bigger problems in the County,” offered Leigh District Supervisor Don Gantt at one point in the discussion. “I mean, way bigger problems than the sidewalk.”

The board will likely have some possible options to consider, including concrete or stamped concrete, which were discussed. Both could be a cheaper fix.