Road construction to improve Main Street – Monday, March 01, 2010
Road construction to improve Main Street
Monday, March 01, 2010
Commuters in downtown Humble have been grappling with traffic congestion as Main Street intersection renovations begin, and traffic is funneled down to one lane. Mayor Donnie McMannes provided an update on progress with the project designed to give historic downtown an Old-World charm.
“This project has been eight years in the making,” said McMannes. “I’m glad to see the progress taking place.”
The first of the downtown renovations is the intersection of Main Street and Avenue A. “We’ve been working on the intersection for two or three weeks,” said McMannes. “Most of the work at this point is rough work.”
McMannes said the old concrete has been removed. Concrete boxes that connect storm sewers and the new water lines have been installed and buried.
“All of the prep work had to be completed before we start work on the intersection’s design,” he said. “The old water lines are around 70 years old. They need to be replaced now, so we don’t develop a problem and have to tear everything up later.”
As a side note, the mayor said workers who were hollowing and leveling the intersection recently discovered more than 100 horseshoes and a rasp file that appear to have been in the ground under the street for a long time. He speculated that they may be from an old blacksmith shop in the area.
“We could get through the process of replacing the road a lot faster if we closed the intersection completely down, said McMannes, “but there are businesses there that need access to their property. We will work on one side of the street, then move to the other side. It may take a little longer, but it will be better for the businesses downtown.”
McMannes said the forecast for completion of the project is dependent on weather, but will involve at least another month’s work. When the project is finished, he said the city will have a fresh new look. New concrete will extend 30 to 40 feet from the intersection, which will be surfaced with red and gray pavers in a herringbone design. There will be a gray star in the middle of the intersection, surrounded by a red-brick design inside a gray-brick circle. The intersection will be modified to accommodate those with disabilities, which will include sloped sidewalks to accommodate wheelchairs and a pedestrian priority traffic button.
“The old suspended street lights will be replaced. A light pole with an arm will reach across with the new traffic lights on it, then the light post rises up to a turn of the century street light,” said McMannes.
The Mayor also said this project is the first of the downtown street renovations, but that it will not be the last. He said, however, that the Main Street and Avenue A intersection would be the most elaborate. Those that follow will be a little more modest, but still complement this first intersection.