Prentis Street project in full swing

Published 9:33 pm Thursday, October 29, 2009

Construction on the Prentis Street extension project is moving along, with the connection expected to be completed in May 2010.

The street will connect the existing Prentis Street, which runs west from North Main Street, to Pitchkettle Road, allowing those in the downtown area easier access to U.S. Route 58. It will run underneath the Broad Street bridge along abandoned railroad right-of-way.

“This will improve the connectivity of roadways in the downtown area,” Public Works director Eric Nielsen said. “It really solves the ‘road to nowhere.’ This will provide the missing link.”

Nielsen said the first phase of the project, from Main Street to Pine Street, sometimes is called the “road to nowhere,” even though it connects to Pine Street, because some people began to doubt the second phase would ever be constructed.

However, with an economic climate that allowed the low bid to be more than $1 million below the engineer’s estimate, the project will be constructed for far less than budgeted, Nielsen said.

The area has been cleared for the $1.36 million project, and the stormwater system is in the process of being installed now, Public Works employee Alan Mushett said. The contractor, Vico Construction, is currently staking areas for curbing along the 3,200 feet of road.

The two-lane roadway will include a paved multi-use trail on one side, and a concrete sidewalk on the other side.