CHARLESTON — An industrial stretch of a Staten Island road will get new sidewalks after years of requests for a link to nearby shopping centers.
The city will build a 5,000 square-foot path along Veterans Road West, from Arthur Kill Road to the new Shoprite at 3010 Veterans Road W. Construction will start later this month.
"This is a safe passage," said Tom Cocola, the Department of Transportation's Staten Island borough commissioner.
"We promised them a sidewalk and we're going to deliver it."
The sidewalk will cost about $70,000, the Department of Design and Construction said.
The DDC expects construction to take about three weeks.
Currently there's only a gravel path full of weeds and litter along the stretch of Veterans Road West. Residents of The Tides, a nearby senior community, fought for about five years to get the city to put a sidewalk in.
"We're seniors, we don't want to have to go on cobbles when we want something to eat," said Margaret Campanile, who lives in The Tides.
"Now that we have Shoprite we don't have to drive there, we can walk there if we only want a few things."
The new sidewalk will not only make it safer for residents to walk to shops in the Charleston Shopping Center, it will also link up homes to the long-planned Fairview Park that the city funded this year, Councilman Joe Borelli said.
"Not only will this be safer, it will also be much more eye pleasing," Borelli said. "Once we have a nice curbline, a nice sidewalk, it will be easier [to clean]."
Only one side of Veteran Road West will get new sidewalks as part of the city's project. The other side will get them when renovations to the Animal Care and Control headquarters on the street are finished, Cocola said.
Cocola said the DOT will also repave Arthur Kill Road from Kreischer Street to the dead end, and do wear and tear improvements on Veteran Roads West in the fall.
Aside from the new Charleston sidewalks, Borelli said the city plans on installing several others around the South Shore of Staten Island this year.