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Downtown streetscape project begins Tuesday
Construction expected to be complete by April 2010
W Streetscape Render
In this photo illustration provided by the City of Statesboro, the sidewalks of East Main Street are shown with the planned changes from the Streetscape project. - photo by Special
     After four and a half years of waiting, the heart of Statesboro will get a facelift as the Downtown Streetscape Project is set to begin Tuesday.
      The project will improve the sidewalks and roads starting at the intersection of Main streets downtown, and then move east along East Main and ending at the corner of Savannah and Mulberry. Along the way, sidewalks will be replaced, streetlights and landscaping will be added on both sides and the road will be repaved and striped. Y-Delta is the general contractor.
      Brad Deal, with the City of Statesboro's engineering department, is the Downtown Streetscape project manager. He said the project will be completed in phases to minimize the impact on East Main drivers as well as the merchants in the downtown area.
      "We wanted to break it into sections so that everything gets put back into place and people don't have to walk through torn-up sidewalks to get to a business," Deal said.
      To further minimize the impact on businesses, temporary walkways will be installed to allow customers to access storefronts. In addition, most parking spaces will remain usable except for those in the construction areas. And though the project is slated to be complete in April 2010, the contractor will completely shut down all operations from mid-November to early January to allow for the Christmas shopping season.
      In the first phase, workers will begin by tearing up the sidewalks starting at the North Main end of the project and working toward Siebald Street. The entire new sidewalk will be complete before they move on to the next section.
      Roughly, the second phase will start at the Averitt Center for the Arts and go east to the corner of Oak Street. The third phase will start from there and continue to the east end of the project. Each phase should be completed in approximately six to eight weeks.
      Deal said the phases are only roughly sketched out at this point and will be modified as they analyze how the project is progressing.
New sidewalks will be made primarily of concrete, but will be lined with brick courses along the edges and at the expansion joints. In addition, there will be basket-weave brick patterns installed along the streetside of the sidewalk.
      Once all the sidewalks are complete, the street will be ground down and resurfaced. When repaving is done, six new brick paver crosswalks that cross East Main Street will be installed - two at the North Main intersection, one in front of the Averitt Center, two at Oak Street near City Hall and one at Railroad Street. Deal said when the crosswalk are being installed should be the only time traffic on East Main is completely shut down.
      There are a few other features which should interest citizens. First, all the power lines along the length of the project will be buried by Georgia Power. The lack of wires and power poles should give the street a much cleaner and picturesque look. Next, benches and new light poles will be installed at intervals on both sides of the street. Also, there will be a large paved and landscaped area in front of City Hall.
Contractors will begin to install traffic control measures on Tuesday.

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