A portion of Main Street in Gainesville that had been closed for more than a month reopened Thursday, but another section of the street will likely remain closed for a few more weeks as workers continue to replace 100-year-old cast-iron water lines.
Two sections of Main Street at the intersection with Jesse Jewell Parkway had been closed since the work began April 17. Gainesville Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said the portion of the street north of Jesse Jewell reopened Thursday. She said work on the section of the street south of Jesse Jewell will probably continue for a few weeks before it is reopened to traffic. Strickland and Sons Pipeline of Gainesville is replacing the water lines.
“Things are going well on the south side,” Sheppard said. “The water line replacement is about 90 percent complete. They are working on some stormwater replacements, which are about halfway completed.”
The $140,000 water line replacement project includes replacing about 1,000 linear feet of water lines and testing the water once the lines are replaced, according to Sheppard. City officials wanted to replace the lines in advance of the city’s $400,000 streetscape project to get the water lines done with the least inconvenience to residents, Sheppard said.
Work began Monday on demolition work in preparation for the streetscape project, which will run from Jesse Jewell to College Avenue, bringing new and wider sidewalks, landscaped areas and decorative lighting. It will eventually connect to the Midtown Greenway and pedestrian bridge, according to Sheppard. She said the contract with Georgia Development Partners calls for the streetscape to be completed in 150 days, but the goal is to finish the work in three months.
Sheppard said the south side of Main Street will likely be closed a few more weeks while the water line and stormwater replacements are completed and some of the streetscape work moves further away from Slack Auto Parts.
“I think what they would like to do is get as much work done in front of Slack Auto Parts as possible just to make the project go faster,” she said. “I’m not sure if we will reopen one lane (of the south side of Main Street) or just keep it closed until they get further away from Jesse Jewell.”
Sheppard said the city has not received any complaints about the street closures so far.
“We’re very pleased with the progress, and we certainly appreciate Strickland and Sons working so hard to get it this far and we’re really looking forward to GDP doing their part,” she said. “We really appreciate the patience of everyone with the closure and looking forward to the great streetscaping project.”