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Wilmington starts next phase of ADA self-assessment, measuring sidewalks, public rights-of-way

Brad Glazier
Delaware Public Media

The City of Wilmington moves to the next phase of its city-wide self-assessment to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Teams of engineers will walk the streets of Wilmington in the coming weeks to assess sidewalk quality and accessibility.

Deputy Chief of Staff John Rago says the City embarked on an ADA study in 2018 to help identify and address where improvements are needed.

“Generally speaking it could mean widening the sidewalk, it could mean adding a ramp in one part of the park that is not there today, it could mean these kinds of changes in parks," Rago says. "The first part of the report is going to guide us as we put together our annual capital budget.”

The first part of the study focused on public buildings, facilities, and parks. That initial report was issued in March 2020 and identified over $15 million in improvements to be made over several phases. The second part, underway now through October, is assessing public rights-of-way like sidewalks and alleyways.

“We wanted our residents to know in our neighborhoods that they would see representatives that are conducting the assessment of public rights of way," Rago says. "They’re pushing what looks like a little stroller along the sidewalks, but this is a mechanism that is taking measurements, is determining whether changes are needed in the public rights of way. So just be on the lookout, be courteous.”

Rago notes the city’s efforts to comply with ADA standards were underway long before the study began. City Hall was remodeled and more than 800 intersections throughout the City have added ADA standard curbs and ramps over the past six years.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.