Work begins on downtown sidewalks

(Above) Work began Monday on the first phase of the Main Avenue Sidewalk Restoration Project.  The south side of the 300 block of Main Avenue is the first of eight segments of the project.  Businesses remain open during the work.  The contract calls for Larson Contracting to complete each segment in 18 working days.-Reporter photo by Chris Barragy.

And so it begins.

Work to replace the brick paver sidewalks on Main Avenue in downtown Clear Lake began Monday, signaling the start to a busy construction season in the heart of the community.

Crews from Larson Construction began removing the curb and gutter and salvaging personalized bricks for placement in the new sidewalk.  Each phase of the work-- of which the south side of the 300 block is the first-- is scheduled to take 18 working days to complete, according to Clear Lake Public Works Director Joe Weigel.  There are eight segments in the project.

All businesses remain open as usual during the work, with temporary accesses placed to each store entrance.

Parking is not allowed in the segment where work is occuring.  In the first phase the loss of parking space is amplified by another construction project on the north side.  Dean Snyder Construction has temporarily blocked off parking spots during the razing and excavation of a building to make way for the expansion of Clear Lake Bank & Trust.

The second phase of the Main Avenue sidewalk project will be on the north side of Main from the former Thrifty White store east to Wilcox Furniture.

Phases three and four extend from 4th to 8th Street on the south side of Main Avenue.  The fifth phase is the north side of Main from North 5th Street East to 8th Street.  The sixth phase will be between 3rd and 4th Streets on the north side of Main.  Phases seven and eight run from the V.F.W. on the corner of 3rd Street to the lake.

The city identified the need to replace the Main Avenue sidewalks more than a year ago and has received complaints and even reports of injuries occurring as the result of bricks which have settled unevenly.  The Council looked at a variety of options for sidewalk replacement, including designs which were concrete and brick paver blends.  The Council voted to keep the familiar brick paver look, but use pavers which will lay flatter and tighter.  The pavers will also be  placed into a concrete base, which will make them less susceptible to the freeze-thaw cycles that have resulted in an uneven walkway.

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