The town of Frisco’s “Step Up Main Street” construction project is moving forward this fall, albeit on a slightly modified schedule.
On Tuesday, April 22, the Frisco Town Council discussed the revitalization project during a regularly scheduled workshop. According to the original plans, construction on Main Street between Third and Seventh avenues was slated to begin in August.
However, public and business owner concerns about upsetting the summer tourism season forced the town council to find a creative way to get the long-talked-about and vitally necessary project on wheels without delaying its start into 2015.
As of Tuesday, the plan is to complete by this fall at least some infrastructure projects, such as rehabbing the drainage on Main Street, said Councilwoman Kim Cancelosi. The council also decided to delay the start of construction until after Labor Day weekend.
“The summer obviously is an important time for local business owners, as are certain weeks in the fall,” Cancelosi said Wednesday. “The public doesn’t want road or sidewalk closures at all in August and we’re trying not to have any impacts on local businesses.”
Although the directive to start infrastructure projects this fall would not result in any road or sidewalk closures in 2014, representatives from Columbine Hills Concrete Inc., in Silverthorne, said it would be impossible to meet the town’s fall 2016 deadline without doing at least some roadwork this fall.
“We set a goal of fall 2016 and the consensus of this group is not to go into 2017,” said mayor pro tem Larry Sawyer during Tuesday’s meeting. “If we need to spend a little more and work a little longer, then we have to do it.”
Councilman Tom Connolly was a little less enthusiastic about the change in plans, but agreed allowing construction to continue into 2017 was not an option. He backed initial discussions to allow contractors to conduct work on two intersections, including at Madison Avenue, which could result in a full closure of a section of Main Street.
“It’s showtime,” Connolly said during the meeting. “I want to see at least one block done (this fall) — I’d rather see two — but I’d like to see one rather than push this project back into 2017.”
The council gave Columbine Hills engineers a two-meeting window to come up with a plan to conduct roadwork at certain intersections, as long as it doesn’t have a major impact on pedestrian and motorist traffic.
Main Street was deeded in 1981 to the town of Frisco by the Colorado Department of Transportation. A year later, the town conducted a number of improvements, including sidewalks, on-street lighting, on-street parking and street furniture, which are now deemed outdated and public safety hazards.
In February, Frisco Public Works director Tim Mack said without improvements Main Street is destined to fail, which would result in costly impacts on the town, its businesses and the community.
The Step Up Main Street project, slated for Main Street between Madison and Seventh avenues, aims to improve infrastructure and create a more welcoming thoroughfare. Town council approved a $3.7 million budget for the entire project, which is coming out of the town’s capital projects fund.
Components of the project include adding additional street benches, updating street lighting, expanding the north side sidewalk by 2 feet and updating the paver design and increasing the amenity strip on each side of the sidewalk.
Parking along Main Street will remain in its current configuration, and will result in no net loss of parking for business patrons, according to plans. Summer seasonal placement of flower planter boxes and hanging flower baskets is planned to continue as in past years.