LANSING, Mich. — The state is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into the village of Stockbridge, with improvements it hopes will benefit everyone, especially those with disabilities.
Most people don't think about how important sidewalks can be...but for people in wheelchairs, having them--and having them clear, can be the difference between going and staying home.
"The sidewalks, there's a couple of bad areas that I either avoid or figure out to go around them," Glenn Buckmaster said.
Buckmaster has lived in the Stockbridge area for most of his life. Lately he finds himself watching out for sidewalks that are uneven, deteriorating, or overgrown.
"I have to watch for differences in height, because if I don't see it coming, the chair stops, I don't," he laughed.
But some of that will change this year. People took their complaints to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). It freed up $400,000 to fix some of the town's sidewalks. It's also paying for a flashing beacon on the crosswalk on Elizabeth street, a busy intersection in town.
"This paving project will improve the overall safety to the corridor through the town so the ADA upgrades on the sidewalk in conjunction with the resurfacing of M-52 and the flashing beacon will contribute to the safety of the motoring public as well as the pedestrians," Aaron Jenkins of MDOT said.
Buckmaster told Fox 47 he's looking forward to the improvements, and says it is definitely a step in the right direction.
"If they're going to make all these improvements that they're talking about....it will make a tremendous difference. Even if they make a little improvement in my lifetime, I know it's going forward. Eventually, it will be as good is it can get."
The project is scheduled to begin at the end of this August All phases of it will be completed by August 2020.
When it comes to overgrown sidewalks, Buckmaster encourages people to take care of them if they can. If they can't, he recommends allowing someone to do it for them.
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