Jonesborough to celebrate Main Street updates

Sue Guinn Legg • Jan 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM

The town of Jonesborough will celebrate the completion of its yearlong Main Street improvement project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning in front of the courthouse.

Jonesborough Special Events Coordinator Melinda Copp said an open house originally planned to follow the ribbon cutting will not be held, but guests will be encouraged to stay to tour the updates that have been made throughout the downtown historic district. “We want everyone to come downtown and see everything open and new and how nice it looks,” Copp said.

The improvements include replacement and widening of the brick sidewalks along Main Street from Boone Street to Second Avenue.

New brick crosswalks have been added at all side street intersections. Uneven stone entrances to alleyways have also been replaced with brick. New street lights have been installed. And iron railing has been placed along the divided section of sidewalk at Main and Fox Street.

New landscaping features include new and deeper tree wells to better protect the trees and the sidewalk, several new trees and several iron benches located throughout the downtown area.

Traffic lanes and on-street parking spaces have been re-configured along Main Street. A new westbound turn lane and a traffic median have been added to improve traffic flow at east side of the courthouse. And beneath it all, the town’s 30-year-old underground electrical lines and 80-year-old water and sewer lines have been replaced.

Jonesborough Operation Manager Craig Ford and the town’s street and water department crews began preparation work for the project in January and the heavy construction got under way in March.

Through an agreement with the Johnson City Power Board, replacement of the town’s deteriorating underground electrical lines and installation of the new water and sewer lines were conducted simultaneously.

The water and street department conducted all the excavation work at a considerable cost savings to the town. And skilled laborers from the Carter County Work Camp worked alongside the town crews to install the new brick walks and granite curbing, for a total cost savings that Ford estimated at several hundred thousand dollars.

Washington County road crews repaved the streets in late September, about a week ahead of the town’s annual storytelling festival. And the brick work was finished in early December, just days ahead of the town’s annual Christmas parade.

To celebrate the work’s completion, members of the Jonesborough Area Merchants AssociationandtheJohnsonCity/Jonesborough Washington County Chamber of Commerce will join town leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday at the courthouse.

Construction of speed tables planned for downtown district will begin this spring.

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