Main Street Facelift to Be Split into Two Phases

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Monday night, plans to update Grand Junction's Main Street cleared another hurdle, after City Council members gave their stamp of approval to the project's time line and payment plan.

The Downtown Uplift Project will make improvements and additions to Main Street from 1st Street to 7th Street.

Officials say as the project has begun to take shape, there have been a few bumps in the road -- most recently concerns from downtown businesses and visitors that all the construction would leave Main Street torn up and not as accessible for too long, prompting the Downtown Development Authority to rethink their plan.

The project will now be split up into two three-block phases. The first phase, which will include 1st Street to 4th Street, will start in early 2010. The second phase, from 4th Street to 7th Street, will begin in 2011.

Downtown officials say throughout the planning process, they've discovered they'll have to work around issues like 100-year-old trolley tracks under the ground in that area, mill tailings, and protecting some very old trees along Main Street -- making the project much more complex.

"It became more and move obvious that we weren't going to be able to that in one construction season," said Heidi Hoffman Ham, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority. "So it became clearer that breaking it into two phases and minimizing the impact each year is probably the best solution."

Plans include expanding sidewalk and walking space along Main Street and adding new flat fountains and play areas downtown.

Downtown officials say they have not yet started taking bids on the project, but for now they expect the total cost to be close to $8 million.

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