Weather Forecast


First block of buildings now hooked into new water main downtown

On Wednesday, shoppers said they came to support the downtown area. but also to get a glimpse of the work taking place. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

The first block of Main Avenue businesses have been hooked up to the city's new water main.

"It's been going fairly, fairly well," said project manager Jon Olson.

Meanwhile removal crews continue to push southward, removing pavement and sidewalk concrete.

Because many of the Main Avenue buildings are a century old, crews have found some obstacles as they hook up the water to the main.

For instance, the Tin Ceiling's foundation is made of rock.

Although Olson said most of the foundations are poured concrete and rock, a couple buildings are sitting on rock bases.

"It's not uncommon for old buildings to be built on stacks of rocks," he noted.

The major underground work will begin soon; there will be a one-week delay on the south two blocks to do the underground work as the removals are completed.

At the weekly progress meeting Thursday, Olson asked business owners if they have concerns about anything. Most asked questions about the construction process, voicing no complaints.

It's difficult to tell if businesses have suffered during the month of construction or if it's attributable to the sour economy, business leader Ellis Jones said.

Some people shopping Wednesday said they were curious about the work being done but also wanted to support the downtown area.

'We're seeing that," Jones agreed.

The major concrete work will begin in mid-September.

Next week, crews will pour test panels for the decorative work that should be on display near Pioneer Park for all to view.

"Tree nodes" will hold living trees that will be wired for lighting and have soaker hoses to keep them alive within the concrete boxes in sandy soil.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364