Construction on downtown

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 1, 2000

sidewalks to begin soon


Staff Writer

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In a matter of weeks, downtown Troy will be undergoing a renovation.

A project that will involve new sidewalks will begin Sept. 4, according to those involved with the project who met for a pre-construction conference Tuesday morning.

The project, which will cost $370,696.50, will be paid for with Ice Tea grant funds from the Alabama Department of Transportation and will involve the "tearing out" of old sidewalks, curbing, utility work and drainage improvements.

"There’s going to be quite a bit of disruption to normal activity," said Bob Carter of Bob Carter and Associates.

Although it will be difficult to gain access to those merchants on the downtown square, Carter said "it’s critical every business and customer have access at all times," so sales will not be interrupted over the next few months.

Dale Fritz of Dale Fritz and Associates said he especially wants to minimize impact to business around the holidays.

He said those who will be on the construction site should "try to expedite replacement of sidewalks as quickly as possible."

Blake Masingill of Cardwell Corporation said his crew will work to start at the storefronts.

Cardwell said the contract allows 180 days to complete the work, but he does not expect

it to take a full six months to complete.

"Once we get here, we’ll be here from start to finish," Masingill said of the project, which he anticipates being complete by November.

He, too, said inconveniences to merchants and customers should be kept at a minimum.

"We will work in as small an area as possible," Masingill said, adding he would like to take it block by block, but won’t know if that is possible until work is underway.

But, while working on those areas in front of businesses, pedestrians will have temporary ramps with non-skid surfaces so access to the businesses will be easier.

However, he said there is no way to get around the loss of parking during the construction.

"Once we get to a particular area, we’ll work as quickly as possible to get out of that area," Fritz said.

Traffic will also come to a halt at the square.

"We will have to close streets he’s working on and that will be lost parking," Carter said.

As far as the utilities are concerned, James Flowers, general manager for utilities, said he will work with the contractor.

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford brought up one aspect of the project during the meeting.

He said removal of the traffic lights as Market and Elm Streets and converting that intersection into a four-way stop "would really improve the movement of traffic" in the downtown area.