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LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – Construction on the TDOT funded sidewalk project in downtown Lawrenceburg is scheduled to begin this month. The project will be completed in phases, starting with the south east quadrant of the Square where the Lawrenceburg Municipal Complex is located.
Downtown store and building owners met last week with the lead engineer on the project, Will Owen, vice president/principal at Griggs and Maloney, a firm based in Murfreesboro. Owen reviewed project plans, answered questions, and addressed concerns from downtown stakeholders, including Main Street Director Baylee Fincher. Fincher has been working closely with downtown businesses, keeping them updated on the progress of the project and including them in various decisions, such as which section of the square to begin construction.
“We discussed the project at length, taking into consideration the coming months restaurants and retail stores would be most affected by the construction. The final decision was to start in front of the Municipal Complex and go counter-clockwise around the Square, ending on the north east section in front of Providence Hall,” Fincher said. “The new sidewalk improvements will completely change the overall look and feel of downtown, creating an inviting and safe environment for our citizens and our visitors to shop, dine, and enjoy for years to come.”
The project went out for bid in late 2019 and received only one response on December 11 from R.J. Watkins & Son Construction in Pulaski for $1,704,847.50. Thus, TDOT concurred with the City to rebid the project in January 2020, resulting in two new bidders. Doss Brother’s Construction won the contract on February 5, 2020, with their bid of $1,396,545.50 over the $1,861,826.15 bid from Sessions Paving Company out of Nashville.
To prepare for construction, the City has been relocating downtown’s current landscaping to local parks and facilities. Last week, the Lawrenceburg Animal Shelter received a few Japanese Maple Trees and rose bushes from the Square. Also, the present street lights around the Square will be salvaged and moved to the Lawrenceburg Police Department parking lot. Anything in the downtown area that can be used somewhere else will be saved.
“Our goal is to make downtown Lawrenceburg more beautiful and accessible for everyone, and the sidewalk project will accomplish that goal,” said Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay. “However, the City Council and I agree that in the construction process, we will not waste what we already have. We will save and reuse everything on the Square that we possibly can.”
Each section of the Square is estimated to take six to eight weeks to complete. However, like any construction project, there can be unforeseen obstacles that lengthen completion time and increase final cost. Traffic flow around the Square will not be impeded, and as many parking spaces as possible will be kept open. For safety and convenience during the evening hours, LUS will provide temporary lighting for the duration of the project. Once construction is complete, the downtown area will have ADA accessible curb ramps and sidewalk slopes.
We will keep you updated as the project progresses. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of improvement.
Find more information at www.lawrenceburgtn.gov or Facebook@CityofLawrenceburgTN.