Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pardon our Dust

Look out for excavators and dump trucks in Downtown Monroe this summer.

You don't quite need to bring your own hard hat, but do prepare for a few extra minutes when heading downtown. Look out for the signs indicating which side of the square is closed for construction, and beware the sidewalks that are being redone.

If you want to plan before heading Downtown, visit Monroe Main street's website for a map of the current traffic flow routes. Pop by the Under Construction Gallery for photographs of the current work if you are curious and can't make it downtown.

Downtown is far from shut down just because of a few traffic cones and a little dust. Stores and restaurants are still open for business. The farmer's market is still being held on the Square on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. The Concerts on the Square are still on. The next one is this Thursday as a matter of fact.

You might have to park a little farther away from your destination or take a slightly different route for a little while, but the end results will be worth it. Main Street is coordinating a streetscaping project to redo the look of our downtown, making it much more welcoming and pedestrian friendly. At the same time, the City is completing underground work that truly needs to be done. The old coal bins under the sidewalks are being filled in, plus the water and sewer lines are being redone and modernized, a very postponed job.

Kudos to the City of Monroe and Monroe Main Street for using almost exclusively local contractors for this job. Only one part is going to a non-local business, and I heard through the grapevine that this is because the local contractor was booked. In our current economy, it is so important to keep things local.

Keeping things local is also why we need to keep shopping our Downtown in spite of a little dust and inconvenience. I want to be sure that my favorites weather out this construction with minimal impact so that they are here for me next fall, next year too.

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