There will likely be several Main Street intersections closed next week as crews work to install new crosswalks in downtown Union.
Crews milled the stretch of Main Street from McKinley Avenue to Washington Avenue Monday, and must pave the road within 72 hours of milling, according to City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann.
After the streets are paved, the crosswalks will be “cut out” at Main Street and the intersecting streets of McKinley Avenue, Linden Street, Church Street, Oak Street, Mulberry Avenue, Jefferson Avenue and Washington Avenue.
Then there will be colored concrete poured at crosswalks.
Each intersection will be closed for four days, Zimmermann added, explaining that it will take a day to cut the roadway and pour the concrete. It will take an additional three days before the colored concrete can be driven over.
The tentative plan is to close alternating intersections so every other intersection will be open during the work, he said.
Zimmermann noted that he discussed that plan with Police Chief Norman Brune, but the final decision has not yet been made.
“We want to talk it over with other emergency services first,” Zimmermann said. “We’d like to have a consensus”
Sidewalk and bump out work in Union is coming to a close, but there still are some ramps that need to be installed at Main Street and Highway 47.
There also will be four ramps replaced at Church and Locust streets, Zimmermann said. The ramps are a remaining component to the Church Street project completed in 2009 .
The downtown streetscape enhancements are funded by $310,515 in federal funds. The city is required to provide a match of over $100,000. The total cost of the project is estimated at $411,433.
When traveling west on Main Street, there is a gateway, or “portal” that includes one monument on each side of the street. That portal separates the residentially zoned district from the B-1 downtown businesses district.
There also is a wall that has been constructed on the south side of the road between McKinley Avenue and Linden Street to “screen out” a county parking lot.
There also are new sidewalks, with a foot-wide colored stamped stripe, on both sides of Main Street from McKinley Avenue to Washington Avenue.
Franklin County officials granted an easement for the city to include seating and planters along Main Street on the north side of the Historic Franklin County Courthouse.
Plans call for seating and planters around a flagpole on the county property, as well as on the veterans memorial on the northwest corner of the courthouse square.
The additions on the county property will match other new benches and planters installed between McKinley and Washington avenues to provide more consistency in the downtown area.
There have been new bump outs added at intersections where there were no bump outs previously, and older bump outs have been replaced.
Zimmermann said large vehicles, including school buses, were unable to navigate around the existing bump outs.
There will be stamped concrete crosswalks along Main Street in the downtown district, and some Bradford pear trees will be removed and replaced with trees that are “better for landscaping.”
The enhancement project plans were drawn with the help of a focus group comprised of downtown business owners.
Members included Jim Ming, Bob Hansen, Joe Purschke and Ed Schmelz; as well as Dale Schmuke, who represented the United Bank of Union and former Franklin County Commissioner Ann Schroeder.