The redo of Empire Avenue, a project that lasted longer than anticipated and caused ill feelings in the neighborhood, is essentially finished.
Time for a celebration in the neighborhood.
People who live along Empire Avenue last weekend marked the near completion of the work with a morning of fun as they painted one of the crosswalks with a variety of images. Traffic barricades were set on either side of the crosswalk for protection.
Families gathered at the crosswalk, located on the 1100 block of Empire Avenue, and went to work. A rainbow quickly appeared on the crosswalk. A natural arch of the kind seen in Southern Utah was put down in paint. There was a heart, a mountainous scene, a snowboarder and a flower. Handprints and footprints were left.
"I think it's looking really good," Matt Cassel, the Park City engineer and the City Hall official who oversaw the work for the municipal government, said about the overall project.
Cassel was unsure how long the paint will last on the concrete crosswalk.
The redo of Empire Avenue involved installing a new water line and a new sewer line as well as the reconstruction of the road itself. The project is expected to cost approximately $3 million, up from the original figure of $2.8 million.
When the work started in 2012, officials anticipated it would be completed in November of that year.
The work on Empire Avenue is a part of City Hall's efforts to upgrade the infrastructure in Old Town in the years since the 2002 Winter Olympics. Empire Avenue is unique as a typical Old Town street on its southern end but as the road that borders the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots on the other end.
Juli-Anne Warll, who lives on the 1000 block of Empire Avenue, was at the paint-the-sidewalk event with her 3 1/2-year-old daughter. She said the crews were nice and accommodating, but she is pleased the work is essentially finished.
"It's awesome. It's been way too long. I like the tranquility so far. It's quiet," she said, adding, "It was a test of patience."
Another person who lives on the same block of Empire Avenue, Kyra Parkhurst, said the neighborhood was "dusty, dusty, dusty" during the work. But she said the redo has "cleaned up" Empire Avenue.
The street no longer looks like a "hodgepodge of everything," she said. Parkhurst said driveways will no longer be flooded since curbs and gutters were a part of the work.
"It was worth it," Parkhurst said about the redo.