Main Street construction to begin this summer

Published 4:56 pm Monday, June 6, 2022

Danville’s long-awaited downtown construction is set to begin this summer, likely by the end of June.

Design Firm Gresham Smith presented final plans to the city; and the city awarded the construction bid to Pace Contracting in the amount of $6,125,000, at a city commission meeting on May 26.

City Engineer Josh Morgan said in the meeting that this cost is larger than expected, which may be due to the quick start date, and/or rising material costs.

Construction was supposed to start on Monday after the Brass Band Festival, but Morgan said in an email that it will be delayed a few weeks due to waiting on materials. Morgan said he will have a detailed construction schedule soon.

The plans are to redo sidewalks along Main Street between Second Street and Fourth Street. Crews will also bury overhead utilities along Fourth Street between Walnut Street and Broadway.

The Downtown Streetscape project’s goal is to make sidewalks safer and more desirable for pedestrian use. It adds 21,000 square feet of public pedestrian space. Much of it will be designated for outdoor seating. The project will include:

• Improved and widened sidewalks

• New Street and Sidewalk Lighting

• New Traffic Signal Poles

• New Trees and Planters

• Curb Bump-outs for pedestrian safety

• New Furniture and Amenities

• Overhead Utility Relocation

First on the construction agenda is sidewalks on the south side of Main Street, and the burying of utilities on Fourth Street. After two months, they will begin sidewalks on the north side.

More sidewalk space comes with the permanent loss of some Main Street parking. However, there will be parking added to Third and Fourth streets. The total loss of parking downtown is 11 spaces.

To compensate for less parking availability during construction, the city will make the downtown parking garage free for two hours. Right now, it is free for 15 minutes until 5 p.m., and free after 5 p.m.

The other construction projects are to replace the fountain in Weisiger Park, and add a slightly raised pavement median on Main Street. The median will be designated for trucks to load and unload.

Cars will still be able to drive on Main Street throughout sidewalk construction. The contractor is required to maintain pedestrian access to buildings throughout the project.

For median construction, Main Street will close completely for two 10-day periods, likely after sidewalks are done. Workers will complete the section of street between Second and Third, then Third and Fourth.

The sidewalks, street lights and other electrical work will be done by October of this year. Other work, including the median, will be done by May 2023.

Downtown businesses will be kept up to date on the construction schedule through emails from the Heart of Danville and the City of Danville.