Updated: 01/07/2014 10:15 PM
Created: 01/07/2014 9:46 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The frigid winters have taken a told on the brick-paved Superior Street in Duluth, and before reconstruction plans are set the city is asking for input from residents.
After 20 years the bricks of Superior Street have bulged and the water mains have broken beneath them necessitating major reconstruction.
The city held a second public meeting Tuesday afternoon, aptly named a design workshop, to draw opinions from public about how a redesigned Superior Street should look.
Art in the Alley owner Tami Lapole Edmunds said the reconstruction will definitely impact her business, but she was staying optimistic.
“As a business owner I'm excited. We're having the opportunity to shape our community. Who is given that type of opportunity? So we can really take this and turn it into something that's going to be beautiful for future generations to enjoy,” Lapole Edmunds said.
Although she said replacing the iconic bricks would mean more construction hindrances for her storefront.
“The bricks are going to take a long time. Is it worth it? I don't know,” Lapole Edmunds said.
But that was just one design question LHB Inc. engineers were asking citizens about. The city paid the engineering firm to draft the plans and the community input will factor into the project that will stretch from Sixth Avenue W. to Fourth Avenue E.
However construction is not expected until the spring of 2016, and could take up to three years according to Project Manager Brad Scott.
“A current thought is you might do blocks east of Lake Avenue and that might be one construction season and then switch over and do blocks west of Lake Avenue,” Scott said.
So the plans are flexible, but one thing is certain. The project will impact the bustling downtown businesses.
“I've been downtown for a year now, and it's really grown. People are shopping downtown. The holidays were awesome,” Lapole Edmunds said.
To keep those businesses thriving she wants Superior Street to be more pedestrian friendly.
“Green space in Duluth. Think about green space on Superior Street. That's something that I would love to see. Make it beautiful for our tourists to enjoy,” Lapole Edmunds said.
If you do not like the sound of those ideas the city will be waiting to hear from you with open ears. There will be four more public meetings with the next one scheduled in February.
The plan were so preliminary that no cost estimate for the project was available from the City of Duluth.
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