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Water, sewer line discovery delays Green Street project

By Richard Yeakley
Feb. 26, 2013 at 10 p.m.


The discovery of unknown underground water and sewer lines has pushed the renovation of Green Street a few weeks behind schedule, but city architect Brent Brevard said the $6 million renovation of the entire street is still on pace to be completed sometime in June.

Renovation of the Green Street underpass between Cotton and Tyler streets was one piece of a set of downtown improvements that eventually will include other work on Green, as well as on Center and Methvin streets, Brevard said.

"(The underpass) had a 10-foot clearance, and we are going to make it 11-foot clearance," Brevardt. "We are also going to improve the storm drainage, get that under control to ensure that that underpass does not flood during storms."

Keith Bonds, the city's director of public works, said all the projects financed by the $52.6 million bond issue approved by voters in May 2011 are moving ahead at appropriate speeds.

"Overall we are happy," he said. "The oil-dirt roads are way ahead of schedule. We are doing OK."

Bond funds are being released in phases. An initial $21.3 million was received soon after voters approved issuing the bonds. As work has been delayed, so has the second issue of $23.3 million, which had been scheduled for Dec. 13.

Even as the downtown renovations continue and expand, the next major project to begin will be intersections on Hawkins Parkway.

"We are still wrestling with a right-of-way issue at one of the intersections," Bonds said. Once design issues are solved, work will begin.

Other street projects financed by the 2011 bond include construction on Hollybrook Drive, which was bid Tuesday, and a series of sidewalk constructions that are undergoing finishing touches.

The design process for reconstruction of Center and Methvin streets is underway, Bonds said, as is a tentative design for Cotton Street. That project, from Green Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is one of the most expensive the bond addressed. It is estimated at $8.565 million.

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