Work to bring automobile traffic back to Main Street between Mohawk and Chippewa streets is underway for the season.
The $21 million project will include the installation of new curbs, sidewalks, street lighting, traffic signals, on-street parking, light rail station enhancement, and various landscaping improvements including trees, planters, and benches. Also, this will reopen Mohawk to traffic between Washington and Pearl streets.
On Saturday, the steel arches that spanned the track bed at Fountain Plaza station since the early 1980’s were removed. Metro Rail has begun modified, single track service for approximately six months. While the street is under construction, so as to prevent future disruptions in service, crews will work simultaneously to replace 30-year old rail, track foundation, and associated subsystems in the 500 Block, with new track and pre-fabricated concrete panels.
During this period passengers will be required to transfer from one train to another at the Church Street station in order to continue their trip on the train. Rail service will operate using a 20 minute schedule.
Metro’s $1.1 million track bed improvement project is being performed by Mark Cerrone, Inc.
At the same time, the $8 million retraffic effort along the 600 Block of Main Street, a stretch between Tupper and Chippewa in the Theater District, is nearly complete. This will be the first block that vehicular traffic will be returned to Main and will share the track bed with light rail trains.
The project includes the installation of bike lanes, 45 parking spaces, five loading zones and 49 street trees and 22 planters. In addition, new light and sign poles have been installed. The project is essentially complete but the new train control system at the underground portal must be tested and commissioned. Cars should be on the block by late summer.
Both projects complement and continue the streetscape theme of the $2.2 million 700 block redevelopment project that brought immediate private sector investment when completed in 2009.