For the past month now, crews have been busy working on the second phase of the downtown Streetscape Project. This portion runs from the railroad tracks to D Street, and Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said the work on this phase has been coming along more quickly than during the first phase and will likely be completed in the next 60 to 90 days.
“They’ve made some really good progress,” Boatright said. “Of course the weather has been much more cooperative this time around, so they haven’t had nearly as many delays. So the demolition process has gone fairly quickly.”
Lee Ann Pirtle, owner of Legacy Event Center located in the construction zone, agreed with Boatright’s assessment.
“It seems like they’ve been able to expedite this section of the project much faster than they did the first, but of course the weather’s been much more cooperative this time around,” Pirtle said. She also noted that the crew has been accommodating to her business and she has not had to postpone or cancel any of her scheduled events during the process.
“For me, the construction crew and the people who are over the project have been very accommodating to the point of checking with me to see when I had events going on and making sure things were the best that they could be under the circumstances,” Pirtle said.
Boatright said, however, that there have also been some small setbacks so far.
“We’ve had a few little hiccups — just like we did last time — because anytime you’re working in an area this old, you always dig up things that are not on our maps,” Boatright said. “So then we have to sit down and have a meeting about how we are going handle those issues and determine if a utility line is alive.”
In spite of these setbacks the project is expected to be completed within the next 60 to 90 days, barring any unforeseen delays. This section of the project will also include two parking lots that will be on the north and south end of the future Depot Park. Boatright said after Depot Park is completed there are currently no plans in place for any major roadway construction in the downtown area.
“At this time there is nothing planned for any further construction downtown,” Boatright said referring to rumors that there is a third phase of the streetscape project. “At some point we do want to consider that, but right now there is nothing planned or budgeted for anything else. There are currently no plans to go further west on Main Street.”