Here's why downtown Farmington Complete Streets construction has been delayed until 2020
FARMINGTON — Construction of the downtown Farmington Complete Streets project has been delayed until January 2020 to enable the city to complete other projects and to avoid impacting businesses during the holiday season, according to Sherry Roach, the Complete Streets Project manager.
Complete Streets is intended to make the downtown a more pedestrian-friendly environment by slowing traffic and widening sidewalks. The project will include replacing traffic lights with roundabouts and reducing the number of lanes in the downtown Main Street corridor.
She said the majority of the project will be completed by the beginning of November 2020.
Meanwhile, Roach said there is a long list of projects for the city to complete prior to construction. This includes resurfacing Broadway Avenue and Arrington Street, which will see increased traffic during Complete Streets construction.
The city is currently finalizing the project's designs. Roach estimates designs will be completed by this fall, which will allow the city to put the project out for bid.
“It’s going to look amazing,” Roach said.
Downtown Coordinator Michael Bulloch echoed her sentiment.
“We’re going to see a really big transformation downtown,” he said.
Bulloch said the Complete Streets Project and related city efforts, including the business resiliency project, have caught other communities’ attention.
“The rest of the state is looking at what we’re doing,” he said.
Bulloch said it is rare for a city to offer classes and resources to help businesses become stronger before, during and after construction related to downtown renovation. These classes have included marketing and business survival. While they began as an effort to help downtown businesses that will be impacted by construction next year, the classes are open to all small, local businesses. Roach said business owners from other parts of the community also attend.
The Complete Streets project has also led to side projects, which Roach and Bulloch are currently pursuing grant funding or other funding to complete.
Roach said she is working on a signage project that will divert through traffic away from downtown.
Meanwhile, Bulloch highlighted place-making projects like pocket parks. He said he is working with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department on plans for an area near the intersection of Main Street and Commercial Avenue. This area has been dubbed Breezeway Plaza and could connect the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center with the downtown corridor.
Bulloch is also asking for Farmington residents to vote in the America’s Main Streets contest. If Farmington wins, it will receive a $25,000 grant that will pay for artistic wayfinding signs in the downtown. People can cast their votes online at mainstreetcontest.com.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.