With school out for the summer, construction will kick into overdrive on First Street.
The first phase of the First Street Reconstruction project will begin Tuesday morning.
The project consists of four phases with the first phase to cover complete reconstruction of First Street from the intersection at Hartup to the intersection at Cedar.
Steve Schmidt, interim public works director, said the first phase of the project is expected to be finished before school starts again in the fall.
Phase two will cover from Hartup to Main; phase three will be from Main west to the railroad tracks and phase four will include work on Hartup and Hill.
During construction, First Street will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes, leaving one lane of traffic in each direction on First Street. The speed limit in the zone will be 20 miles per hour.
North and south traffic will be closed at Myers, Hartup, North High and Cedar. Schmidt encouraged residents to use nearby Anna and Maxwell streets as detours.
Temporary access will still be available to nearby businesses, and emergency vehicles will be ensured access as need be.
Schmidt asked that residents avoid using First Street during construction if at all possible.
“Just stay away,” he said. “If you don’t need to use First Street, don’t.”
Schmidt recognized the problems that the construction would cause and asked for patience during the process.
“We readily admit it’s a huge disruption to everyone living in this area of town,” he said. “We ask everyone’s patience so that the contractor has the ability to do their job in a ready manner.”
Cornejo and Sons is the contractor for the construction. Representatives from Cornejo and Sons announced updates on the project will be readily available on a Twitter feed, @firststcon, and online at www.mcpcity.com/firststreetcon. City offices also can be contacted with questions at 620-245-2535.
Construction will include an overhaul on the concrete of first, as well as installation of bigger storm pipes and moving sidewalks on both sides of First Street away from the curbs.
The project is funded from the sales tax bond issue, and funds are expected to be received on Aug. 15.
Mayor Tom Brown said the city will work with residents to ensure the process works smoothly for everyone.
“We’re going to do our best to make this the most convenient inconvenience possible,” he said.
Joseph Tuszynski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @JoeTSentinel.