July 8, 2022: Crews will begin boring under the roadway at the intersection of Scales and Gilmer Streets early next week to lay conduit for electrical and fiber, but officials indicate the work should not require street closure. However, vehicular traffic may experience some temporary delays at times.
Crews will then move to Morehead Street between Main and Scales Streets to do similar work. Again, there are no plans currently to close Morehead Street, but sidewalks may be closed temporarily to pedestrian traffic to ensure safety.
This work is part of the City’s planned downtown Streetscape project. Recently approved by Reidsville City Council, the Streetscape plan has been created by staff over the course of several months, and the end result should be an even more beautiful downtown area.
Based on a plan developed by Insight Architects back in 2005, the project has been designed not only to improve the downtown’s aesthetics but also to help eliminate some existing problems that have occurred along Scales Street over recent years.
The City’s Public Works Department has already begun phase one of the plan, which addresses a sinking issue that has occurred at Mural Park located at the corner of Scales and Gilmer Streets. Fencing has barricaded part of the park area for several months, and this project will not only fix this problem but also replace the beautiful brick pavers there. The retaining wall will be rebuilt and shrubbery removed, but Mural Park will still remain a gathering place for the downtown area.
The project also will upgrade and replace asphalt and decorative stampings found in the 100 and 200 blocks of South Scales Street and remove and replace existing sidewalks along the street. The City had to take down existing trees along Scales Street because their roots had grown so large underground that they had made the pavement uneven and a tripping hazard. Some of the tree roots were making their way into existing storefronts so a solution needed to be found. This project will make those much needed repairs while also repaving South Scales and Gilmer Streets as part of the process.
Existing light poles will be replaced with decorative light poles with banner arms and electrical boxes. The City will be able to use these poles for appropriate signage and to help provide electricity during street festivals. Looking toward the future, the City also decided to upgrade the electrical and fiber options on both sides of the street while the Streetscape was being done. That is the work being done the week beginning July 11th. Downtown cameras and the current free downtown Wi-Fi access points will also be replaced and upgraded.
Twenty-eight Crepe Myrtles were selected to replace the other trees because their root systems are not as aggressive. Well lights around the bottom of each tree will provide up-lighting. The decorative planter boxes will have to be removed, but the City plans to reuse them at local parks, Lake Reidsville and in the City’s proposed Depot District.
City officials met in recent weeks with downtown merchants to explain the changes and assure them that any inconveniences from the project will be kept at a minimum. Having already started, the project is estimated to take between 8-18 months to complete. City staff will be able to do some of the work, but current staffing and material availability may impact the project. But the end result should ensure that downtown Reidsville will be even more of a lovely destination spot for visitors and a source of pride for our residents.
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