After months of delay, the sidewalk project on East Maxwell Street is expected to be completed in a few days — good news for John Michler, owner of Michler Florist & Greenhouses at 417 East Maxwell.
"We're looking for it to finally being finished," said Michler, who has one of the few businesses in the section of Maxwell getting new sidewalks. "It's always hard to judge the impact on business. All we can say for sure is it certainly didn't help having the sidewalks torn up, with those attractive cones and not much access."
But he added, "I'm liking the new look."
Work began last summer by the city to install wider sidewalks, curbs, gutters and a bike lane on East Maxwell between Rose Street and Woodland Avenue.
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The $300,000 project was a partnership funded with $150,000 in federal funds, $10,000 from the University of Kentucky and $11,000 from the Aylesford Neighborhood Association. The city paid for the remainder of the costs, said Keith Lovan, project manager in the city's division of engineering.
An early snow halted construction until work commenced again in March, Lovan said. But an especially rainy April hampered work, he said.
Marrillia Construction was awarded the construction contract, Lovan said.
While the city "would like to blame the weather," Michler said he was told by a workman that the crew was pulled off to do another job. "They missed a lot of good working days," he said. "I hope the blacktop guys work in a quick and efficient way, unlike the concrete guys."
Workmen are milling the old asphalt in preparation for repaving.
Maxwell will then be striped for a bike lane that will connect South Limestone to Woodland Avenue.
To create the bike lane, on-street parking will be shifted to the north side of Maxwell between South Lime and Woodland Avenue. Street parking will be eliminated on the south side of Maxwell from Rose to Woodland, where cars have parked on both sides of the street.
A loading zone and metered parking spaces will go in front of Michler's, which Michler said would improve accessibility for his customers.