MADISON — The City of Madison is proceeding with the grant-funded Main Street Streetscape project to beautify, enhance, and hopefully revitalize the downtown area.
The project is funded from the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) of the federal government and managed by the TEP division of the West Virginia Department of Highways (DOH).
The city was awarded a grant for Phase I in 2013, and for Phase II in 2014, each phase receiving $200,000 from TEP, with the city contributing $50,000 for each phase. Phase I and Phase II projects have been combined and will begin in the area of Spa Envy and go to the REV UP Madison Ellis Park.
Phase III of the streetscape effort was awarded in 2015 and will go from the Ellis Park to the Madison Fire Department, but city officials said Phase III will not be included with Phase I and Phase II due to the slow process involved in each phase.
The city chose Michael Baker International of Charleston as the project engineers and Baker employees Todd Schoolcraft, landscape engineer, and Pat Fogarty, practice manager, have been working with the city on various aspects of the project. Over a three year period, there have been a series of meetings with TEP project coordinators, the WV DOH, Michael Baker representatives, and city officials.
A meeting on Friday, May 29, with Baker representatives gives hope that the Main Street Streetscape may finally be moving forward. Schoolcraft and Fogarty met with the Madison Streetscape Committee and presented the Concept Plans for the project.
A committee of seven representing city council, the REV UP group, and the local garden club, as well as an artist and business owner, heard Schoolcraft present various elements of the streetscape development that needed to be addressed such as historic and architectural influences and how they affect materials used in the streetscape.
Samples of brick and sandstone pavers were displayed. Also discussed were types of lighting and light fixtures, benches, and trash receptacles. The committee was asked to choose a preference from several designs for each of the items discussed.
The next step is the presentation of the actual design which must be approved by the DOH. After approval, Baker will bid the job, and if everything goes as planned, officials said construction could begin in the spring or summer of 2016. Before construction begins, the contractor and city manager will meet with business owners for a plan that will give the least interruption to their business.
When completed the streetscape project will mean a partial new look for Main Street with new sidewalks, lighting, tree wells, benches and trash bins.
City officials and REV UP Madison say it is their hope that property owners will take an interest in their buildings and give the street and beautiful renovation a new look that could lead to new businesses establishing in Madison.
Those attending the Concept Plan meeting were: Carolyn Mullins and Danny Warner, Madison City Council members; Tammy Hill, Madison city clerk and grant coordinator; Trish Price, REV UP Madison; Alice Rider, REV UP Madison and business owner; Paula Ballard, Wildwood Garden Club; Judy Foxx, local artist (juried at Tamarack); Janet Yeager, community volunteer; Todd Schoolcraft and Patrick Fogarty, Michael Baker International.