“The project is on schedule,” Mayor Lew Watson said. “There is no completion date, however, due to the weather.”
Watson said the contractors are waiting until the weather improves before they can complete the paving.
“The period lighting has been shipped,” he said. “We are not sure on its arrival date, but those lights will be put in as soon as they arrive.”
Watson said the downtown area is looking very good with the revitalization.
“I have heard a number of very favorable comments from residents on what they are seeing with the renovations,” he said.
Watson said the downtown revitalization project has been in the works for several years. In 2007, Lincoln was awarded a $150,000 Transportation Enhancement Fund Grant. The federal share is 80 percent, with a 20 percent city match. The project was awarded in August 2009, and construction started in November. The tentative completion date was the end of January, but is dependent on weather conditions.
Jane Reed Ross, landscape architect and project manager for Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc., said the project would cover approximately one city block in old downtown Lincoln.
“The streetscape improvements and park development occur on McClain Avenue and James Avenue between Magnolia and McCarthy streets,” she said. “The work includes sidewalk renovation, pedestrian street lights, shade tree islands in the parking areas, paving of streets, and landscaping.”
Ross said the property between the two avenues will have the grades smoothed to gentle slopes, grassed and tree plantings for the creation of a half-acre town green or park.
“A brick crosswalk will lead from the buildings on McClain Avenue to a central set of steps that connect to the green,” she said.
Ross said the resurfacing of the roads portion of the project was not grant eligible, and the city is paying for that portion of the project. The contractor has 90 days to complete the project from the construction start date.
“We are excited about this project,” Watson said. “We hope it will enhance our downtown area, and help attract more businesses to that area. It will be something our town and our residents can really be proud of.”