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Commission looks to add East Campus to brick street rules

The Historic Preservation Commission wants to add streets in the East Campus neighborhood to a proposed policy on brick streets.

The group met Tuesday night to tweak the resolution before it goes to the Columbia City Council later this summer. The addition of the streets with exposed brick in East Campus join the four streets in downtown Columbia currently on the resolution for repair in the next twenty years – roads and neighborhoods the city considers historic.

Commission member Patrick Earney said many of the changes were administrative, in order to make the resolution enforceable. Many of them include making private contractors working in the city’s rights of way to abide by the same rules as the city’s staff must when working on brick streets.

Under the resolution, construction or repair crews must replace any bricks removed from streets during work, whether the brick is exposed on the street or covered by material such as asphalt. The city’s Public Works department would store any of the original bricks tore up, for salvage and possible future use on brick street repairs.

“The impetus in saving the bricks that are there is that they’re expensive or impossible to replace,” Earney said. “And why throw them away? When you have a brick street, don’t just go dumping little spots of asphalt until it’s a valueless amount of brick, then you pave over the whole thing.”

Earney said the brick streets make the areas of downtown Columbia, like the 600 and 700 blocks of Cherry Street, a desirable place to go because of the historical “ambience” of the area.

Columbia Public Works requested $50,000 for brick street repair for the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.

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