Bicyclists and artists were the stars along Main Street over the past two weeks.
City Hall-hired crews, though, will return to prominence this week. The workers are upgrading the streetscape and important milestones either were reached recently or are expected in coming weeks. After the Park City Kimball Arts Festival and the Tour of Utah bicycling race were held on Main Street during back-to-back weekends, there is not another major event on Main Street until the Miners Day parade on Labor Day.
Craig Sanchez, the City Hall staffer tracking the progress along Main Street, said the crews started to tear up a stretch of sidewalk on Monday. The work is on the east side of Main Street on the 600 block of the street. The crews will replace the sidewalk, storm drains and curbs. The sidewalk where the work is occurring will be closed to pedestrians. Access to businesses will be maintained. The work on the 600 block of Main Street is anticipated to be completed on Sept. 5.
Sanchez said the work on the plaza outside Café Terigo was completed last Thursday. The plaza, which is one of the passageways between Main Street and Swede Alley, is open. The workers redid some of the brickwork and stabilized handrails.
Work is anticipated to start on Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day, on the walkway between Main Street and Swede Alley where a bronze sculpture of a bear on a bench is situated. The crews will install lights in the sidewalk projecting skyward and lay down brickwork.
The walkway will be closed during the work, which is expected to be completed by the end of October. Access to Swede Alley will be available via the Galleria and the walkway outside Dolly's Bookstore.
Sanchez said the work has been "pretty smooth" through the summer.
City Hall is in the second year of what is expected to be between seven and 10 years of upgrades along Main Street. Businesses on Main Street pressed for the improvements as a means to remain competitive with outlying shopping, dining and entertainment districts. Park City voters approved an increase in sales taxes to fund the improvements. A Murray firm called Miller Paving was hired for the work this year and in 2013. City Hall anticipates spending approximately $2 million this year.
The construction of a plaza on Swede Alley at the base of the Marsac Building steps will be delayed until 2015 based on feedback from the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents businesses on or just off of Main Street, about the timing of the project, Sanchez said.
Another project, a waterworks upgrade, meanwhile, started Wednesday on the upper reaches of Main Street. The crew will replace a vault that reduces the pressure in the water line. Most of the work will occur in a small parking area at the Main Street-Hillside Avenue intersection. Parking will be prohibited at the site during the work, which is predicted to last between four and six weeks, Sanchez said.
Sanchez recently included the Main Street work in a detailed list of ongoing or planned construction or infrastructure projects. They include the replacement of a water line along Estates Drive, the Judge Tunnel pipeline project and upcoming slurry sealing on certain streets meant to extend the life of the road surface.
The summer construction and roadwork season has been extremely busy with City Hall-hired crews working during a period of intense private sector construction, including a group of high-profile projects along Main Street like an ambitious renovation of the building once known as the Main Street Mall.
The Historic Park City Alliance is closely monitoring the work along Main Street. Alison Butz, the executive director, said the work this year has gone well. She said the upgrades will "dress up the area" and the street "will look well cared for." Butz also praised the performance of Miller Paving.
"They've got this down to a science," she said.