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Mending Main Street: Kilgore streetscape project kicks off

By Robyn Claridy rclaridy@news-journal.com
July 11, 2011 at 10 p.m.

KILGORE - Phase 2 of downtown Kilgore's streetscape project officially kicked off Monday, with contractors posting signs around the downtown square in preparation for several months of construction.

As part of the project, which was funded by a $799,000 bond, sidewalks, waterlines, lighting, curbs and gutters will be replaced around the World's Richest Acre, Streets Superintendent Tim Hobbs said.

He said the project is slated to be completed before holiday festivities start.

"The project is to enhance the atmosphere of the downtown area, bring things up to date, getting everything in compliance and making the sidewalks handicap accessible," Hobbs said.

The project mirrors the Phase 1 project, which was completed Dec. 3, 2009.

Interim City Manager Tony Williams said he hoped the project would bring more businesses to downtown Kilgore.

"Generally it makes it a nicer area for people, and it brings more shoppers and more business owners," Williams said.

In addition to construction projects, planter boxes, trash cans and benches are part of the plan as well.

Workers broke ground on the first phase of construction in January 2009. The plan cost about $2 million for Main and Kilgore street renovations, which called for the removal of sidewalks and shrubbery planters and the addition of new trees, sidewalks, trash cans, benches, street signs, a traffic light and more lighting.

While parking may be scarce around Commerce, North and Main streets, Hobbs said Monday that pedestrian traffic would not be limited.

"Our goal with the project is not to take down any businesses because of the construction," Hobbs said.

The project is slated to be completed by Nov. 7.



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