Makeover along Main Street is underway
Ryan Summerlin April 26, 2013
The message from Main Street: the street is open for business.
And there’s plenty of parking.
Work crews moved onto Main Street in recent days as City Hall starts what will eventually be an ambitious improvement program along the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.
Machinery was brought to the street and some parking spots were cordoned off with pylons. Even so, Main Street’s leadership says there should not be major impacts on business.
"Main Street is not closed," said Alison Butz, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance.
The group promotes businesses on or just off of Main Street. The work that recently started has been anticipated for months, and the Historic Park City Alliance has been the chief supporter of the improvements outside of City Hall.
Some parking spots will be lost temporarily during the work, but the number represents a tiny percentage of the overall availability in the Main Street core. Parking will not be available at locations where the crews are working, perhaps between 50 and 75 feet on each side of Main Street at any one time.
A set of parking spots just south of the Old Town transit center will be unavailable for public parking during the extent of the work.
The work this year is scheduled to include:
Work at the intersection of Main Street and 7th Street — creating a new crosswalk and adding mining-themed trestles — is under consideration. The work at the intersection, though, depends on private-sector construction there.
The work on the natural-gas lines started on Thursday. The sidewalk work is scheduled to begin on May 6. City Hall hopes the work hours run from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on most days, but the crews are allowed to work later based on municipal construction rules.
Butz said she does not expect the work will impact business along Main Street, noting that the street will not be closed to traffic at any points and pedestrians will not be forced to the other side of the street at any location.
This year will be the first of what is expected to be between seven and 10 years of work along Main Street. The price tag this year is anticipated to be $1.6 million. Some of the work in upcoming years is expected to include the construction of plazas.
Jonathan Weidenhamer, City Hall’s economic development manager, said the sidewalks on Main Street look as they are "rundown, beat up."
"We can’t put Band-Aids on anymore," he said.
Weidenhamer said the crews will not work on Sundays and City Hall wants them to limit their hours on Saturdays. The work needing heavy machinery, such as demolishing sidewalks and excavating, will mostly be conducted before noon.
The work is being funded through a slight increase in sales taxes charged on most items in Park City. Voters in the city last year approved the increase, which will also provide funding for conservation purchases, Old Town street improvements and upgrades to storm drains in Old Town.
Main Street has lobbied for improvements as it faces increased competition from outlying commercial districts like those at Kimball Junction. Leaders on the street argue that the upgrades will make a visit to Main Street a more desirable experience, leading to better business and increased sales taxes to City Hall.