Fayette County

Public gets view of downtown streetscape improvement plans

The public is invited to see the latest streetscape improvements planned for Cheapside Park and West Main and Vine streets from South Broadway to Limestone.

Streetscape renderings will be on display from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor ballroom of the Lexington-Fayette Government Center.

Clete Benkens of KKG Consultants, which developed the streetscape master plan for downtown, and city officials will be on hand to answer questions.

"It's another opportunity for the public to give input on what the design will look like," said Harold Tate, president and CEO of the Downtown Development Authority.

Phase one of the downtown improvement project began last week on South Limestone, which was closed from Avenue of Champions to Vine Street.

The launch was not without controversy. On Thursday, the South Limestone Business Owners Association, worried about the impact of construction on their businesses, went to court seeking a temporary injunction to halt the work. The injunction was denied.

Learning a lesson from the South Limestone closing, Tate said, when work begins on the new phase, the city will meet once a week with downtown businesses owners to keep them informed of progress.

Work will not be as disruptive as on South Limestone, he said, because utilities on Main and Vine are already buried. Improvements will include new sidewalks, rain gardens, street trees and bike lanes.

Construction will start this winter and be completed in July 2010.

Because the construction will be done in the winter, restaurants on Main and Vine will be able to have their sidewalk cafes open come spring, he said.

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