Main Street Awarded Brick Facelift

April 01, 1992|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff writer

Annapolis' buckling brick Main Street could be reconstructed as early as fall 1993 due to the project's inclusion in the city's $40.9 million capital budget.

The city plans to re-brick completely the thoroughfare leading from the waterfront to historic Church Circle. Overhead power lines will be buried, and aging utilities will be replaced.

"I don't think anyone would argue that Main Street is in good repair," said Central Services Director Emory Harrison, who provided summary sheets of the proposed capital improvement program yesterday.

Another large project earmarked in the lean budget is the renovationof a city-owned building for public transportation headquarters. Thecity has set aside $1 million in federal and state transportation grants to open the depot.

Gone from the budget are some of the multimillion-dollar proposals, such as building a modern police station oropening a new landfill. Most of the plans are modest -- resurfacing roads, repairing sewers and building storm drains.

"We've never done real flashy projects in the city," Harrison said. "We tend to be more practical."

Although money was included to create a hiker-biker trail, Harrison said the project is likely to be stalled because the state has sharply cut back its open space funds.

Heading the list of projects are: $6 million to close the city's existing landfill, $4.36 million to reconstruct Main Street and up to $1 million to centralize government offices.

Some Main Street merchants, worried that customers will shy away from the muddy mess of street repairs, haveexpressed reservations about the project. When the city rebricked State Circle in 1990, shop owners complained that customers were put off by the noise, dirt and parking problems.

Harrison said the city learned its lessons from the $2.9 million State Circle reconstructionand would take precautions to reroute traffic, clearly mark pedestrian paths and promote Main Street businesses.

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