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Work begins on downtown renovation

Staff writer

The darkness on the south side of the 100 block of Main St. is the brightness of improvements to four blocks of downtown nearly 40 years in planning.

This week work began on a long-anticipated $1 million downtown renovation first planned in 1980.

On Monday, city workers removed two streetlight poles in the 100 block of Main St. that will be replaced with vintage-style two-tier lighting.

Marion electric supervisor Clayton Garnica said the work would be done one block at a time, from west to east toward Central Park. New poles will be installed before poles on the next street are removed, he said. It’s hoped work will be completed in time for the city’s annual Chingawassa Days celebration.

“The contractor notified us he wanted to start in that block in the next week,” city administrator Roger Holter said.

Surveyors will soon be seen assessing sidewalks and curbs, than concrete demolition will start next week, he said.

The contractor has a 70-day timeline to finish the job, but the city can grant extensions if needed due to weather.

“The process people will see is removal of lampposts and sign posts,” Holter said. “The contractor will come in and remove a strip of the sidewalk for replacement of conduit. Then they remove the rest of the sidewalk and rebuild the sidewalk.”

After sidewalk is rebuilt, new lampposts will be installed before contractors install benches and trash receptacles. As work progresses, people will see each block in a different phase.

Businesses that are not ADA compliant will get ramps built to the entrance. The longest a building can be without access is one day, Holter said.

Last modified Feb. 27, 2019

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