Say so long to the bricks

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 17, 2004

Staff report

The quaint brick pavement that was exposed recently during a repaving project was buried Monday beneath a layer of asphalt.

Many are residents called the city requesting that the brick streets be preserved, but it soon became apparent to city officials that a brick major artery was not a viable option.


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While the bricks do have some charm and beauty, it’s also apparent that there are unsightly concrete patches, sunken holes, damaged bricks, and elevated manhole covers.

According to a press release Monday from the city, in its current condition, the exposed bricks do not allow emergency vehicles to proceed with any speed down West Washington. Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars have also been taking added punishment as they travel over this rough stretch of road, shortening the life of all public safety vehicles.

&uot;While some hoped that the aesthetic value of the exposed bricks would add to the appeal of the nearby neighborhood, the reality is that West Washington Street is not a neighborhood street; it is a major thoroughfare that handles nearly 11,000 vehicles each day,&uot; the press release stated. &uot;That’s 10 times the number on Bank Street, a brick road that carries a low volume of traffic.&uot;

Approximately 11,000 cars and trucks that travel the stretch of road each day, adding to congestion. In addition to the safety and congestion problems, restoring the old brick roadway essentially would mean complete reconstruction of the street. Estimated cost to conduct that restoration is an additional $460,000, and the ongoing expenses to maintain a brick street will add thousands of dollars each year to operating costs.