Tuesday, February 10, 2009

City Council OK's Carpenter Street Reconstruction

by Tony Rawlings

The Athens City Council held a special meeting Monday night to approve the funds for the proposed renovation of Carpenter Street. The project calls for a complete removal of all bricks on Carpenter Street from where Lancaster ends and Carpenter begins by Dirty Deeds Laundry, to the intersection of Carpenter and East State Street.

The Carpenter Street rehabilitation project is tentatively scheduled to begin in early summer 2009, after the completion of spring quarter. Traffic in the area will decrease significantly when many Ohio University students return home for summer break.

While the bricks are removed from the roadway, crews will tend to sewage pipes that run under the street and then re-lay the bricks, replacing the damaged bricks with new ones. Once the renovation of the street itself is complete, crews will replace damaged curbs and gutters along the street to fix drainage problems.

Carpenter St. business owner talks about concerns of high speeds.

In an interview, the Owner of The Subtle Bug automotive repair shop (who asked to be referred to only as Skip) explained some of the problems that the crumbling street causes for his business, which is located on Carpenter Street next to Broney’s Alumni Grill.

Repair shop owner Skip talks about problems on Carpenter St.

Though the dilapidated bricks are currently causing problems with water drainage and the flow of traffic in the area, the re-construction of the road will detour traffic and may impact businesses in that area such as The Subtle Bug. Broney's Alumni Grill has a small parking lot on the corner of Court street and Carpenter, which would be inaccessible during re-construction. The Family Dollar Store, like Broney's, would also lose parking lot access during the roadwork.

Subtle Bug and Broney's on Carpenter St.

The City council held the special meeting to discuss the Carpenter Street project because the deadline to sign the engineering contract for the project is this Thursday, February 12. The council would not have time to hold the issue until the next regular meeting on Monday, February 16.

In the special meeting the City Council agreed to appropriate $42,500 for the street rehabilitation fund and another $20,400 to cover engineering costs for the project. Members also discussed the possibility of receiving funds from FEMA and the Federal stimulus package, though no specific dollar amounts were mentioned.

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