Getting to the post office is going to be a bit more difficult for the next month-and-a-half or so, as the city has closed North Blakeley Street between Main and Hill Streets to replace waterpipe and resurface the road.
When the street reopens, hopefully cars will no longer scrape as they enter the parking lot, and car doors won’t grate on the sidewalk when people open them while parallel parked alongside the post office.
“We are replacing the water main, and while we are doing that, we are taking out the large crown and lowering it down,” said Scott Peterson of the City of Monroe.
The “crown” of a road is the amount it is higher in the middle than at the edges.
“Typical roads are crowned at two percent,” said Peterson. “But on Blakeley some places were seven to eight percent.”
Until about June 16, people accessing the post office will have to drive down Madison Street and turn into the alley, then turn into the post office.
The street will be partially open again in mid-June, but only one lane at a time for a while as the city completes the resurfacing work.
The project will cost about $200,000.
Business owner Patti Rois Gibbons, owner of Heavenly Soap across Blakeley from the post office, noted on Facebook that the road closure won’t affect business hours.
“The business owners in this area will be open during this time and we would appreciate your support,” she commented.
Other street projects underway include Fremont Street, which would be complete by now but for the late delivery of 40 tree grates.
“In terms of pavement and marking and signage, everything else is done,” said Peterson.
The city replaced the combined sewer and stormwater system under that street with separate sanitary sewer and stormwater systems. While doing it, the city opted to completely overhaul the streetscape in accordance with the city’s Downtown Sub-Area Plan.
The city didn’t have to do that, and with the economy as lean as it was when the project was funded, there was some debate about whether the city should do the minimum and beautify the street later. But the city decided that, since the street would be torn up anyway, they would go ahead and install the trees, benches and other amenities called for in the plan. It is the first of the downtown streets to be updated in accordance with the Sub-Area Plan.
Also, the addition of a sidewalk to Elizabeth Street is underway and slated for completion in September. The sidewalk will extend 700 feet along the south side of Elizabeth Street between North Kelsey and Arthur Lane. The city is also adding a parking lane, curb and planter strip.