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You Asked: Downtown street projects have begun

Q: What’s all the repair work going on in downtown Brookhaven? How long is this going to take?

A: The city’s public works department is currently replacing manholes. Manholes are access points to underground utility vaults. The utility vaults allow opportunities for making connections, inspections, valve adjustments or performing maintenance on underground and buried public utilities and services. These services include water, sewer, telephone, electricity, heating, natural gas and storm drains.

The department’s work on manholes includes repairing or replacing infrastructure in the access area, interior rehabilitation or repairs, and replacing covers. Whatever needs to be done to upgrade the manholes will be completed during this project.

Keith Lewis, director of public works, said the project will take about one and a half weeks to complete.

The city is working on a small area at a time, so commuters can still reach their destinations with as little rerouting as possible. As each street is completed, the portion that has been closed for repairs will be reopened for regular traffic.

Once this project is completed, work will begin on the downtown paving projects that were approved by the Board of Aldermen in August. Whitworth Avenue and Railroad Street are to become one-way streets, with Whitworth running south and Railroad running north.

“We would also change the two intersections on Cherokee Street to four-way stops instead of signals, to address the traffic flow there,” city engineer Ryan Holmes said in August.

The $300,000 project will include repaving and restriping streets and parking spaces to fit the new pattern. Around 40 additional parking spaces will be created.

According to Lewis, most of the paving process will be done at night, in order to avoid too much interruption of traffic downtown.