Pedestrian crossings planned in Dormont

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New pedestrian crossings are on the way for Potomac Avenue in Dormont.

Borough council on Monday approved a series of crosswalks on Potomac between West Liberty Avenue and the Port Authority tracks at Broadway Avenue. The $48,040 contract was awarded to Laurel Asphalt Inc. of Laurel, Md.

The crosswalks will be similar to one installed by Laurel last year at Belrose and Potomac avenues, using a stamped asphalt surfacing system in which thermoplastic sheets are heated and bonded to the road surface. The stamped asphalt is expected to last about 10 years, with relatively low maintenance compared with painted crosswalks.

Jeff Naftal, borough manager, said the current state of the street and crossings presents safety issues.

“We’re trying to do something a little nicer,” he said. “It’s visible to drivers. It’s an aesthetic thing for the business district.”

Council also approved new stamped-asphalt crosswalks on Dormont Avenue and other streets near Dormont pool, along with two in the pool’s parking lot primarily for aesthetic reasons. The cost has yet to be determined, but Mr. Naftal said the amount is based on total square feet and gave an estimate of about $25,000.

The money for the crosswalks will come from the borough’s capital reserve fund.

Mayor Phil Ross mentioned West Liberty Avenue crossings that also have raised concerns about pedestrian safety.

The borough would need approval by the state to do work on West Liberty, Mr. Naftal said.

In other business Monday:

• Council approved a resolution to post the national motto, “In God we trust,” in council chambers. Mr. Naftal said plans are to inscribe in on a plaque to hang on a wall in the room.

In November, council received an email from In God We Trust — America Inc., an organization founded by Bakersfield, Calif., council member Jacquie Sullivan to encourage elected officials to display the motto in every governmental chamber in the nation.

Dormont Councilwoman Onnie Costanzo requested the borough support the effort by drafting a resolution to that effect. Part of it states: “the same motto is engraved above the entrance to the United States Senate Chamber as well as above the Speaker’s dais in the United States House of Representatives.”

Voting against the measure was Councilman Drew Lehman, who said the borough once faced a legal challenge because of a similar sign at the recreation center.

• A contract was awarded for asbestos abatement at a property that the borough has condemned.

BLT Contracting Inc. of Ohio Township will perform the work at 1218 Dormont Ave., at a cost of $5,900. The amount will be added to liens against the property, Mr. Naftal said.

The abatement precedes demolition of the 114-year-old house on the property, which council approved in March. The house has been unoccupied since 2007.

According to Mr. Naftal’s memo to council, the contractor will seal the building completely before removing asbestos-containing materials. Testing for mold and lead showed insufficient amounts for the borough to be required to mitigate those substances.

Harry Funk, freelance writer:

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