Palisade updates downtown streets |

Palisade updates downtown streets

Brittany Markert
Construction continues through June 12 in downtown Palisade. As part of the project, sidewalks are being widened to more than five feet across.
Brittany Markert / | Free Press

Downtown Palisade’s quaint and quiet scene has been replaced with the sounds of jack hammers, bulldozers and construction workers.

Beautification and underground work began March 2 between Third and Eighth streets on Main Street in Palisade. It is set for completion on June 12, if not earlier, thanks to warm springtime weather.

“We hope the $1 million project will create easier access and help existing businesses, plus encourage new people to come to town,” said Richard Sales, Palisade’s administrator.

The original estimated cost for the project was around $1.1 million; but, thanks to a bid from Ben Dowd Excavation Construction, the project costs $680,000.

To fund upgrades to the area, Palisade also received three grants — $575,000 from Mesa County Federal Mineral Lease District, $200,000 from the Department of Local Affairs and $100,000 from Mesa County. Extra money was used to update Second Street, which has since been completed.

Major work being done includes many below-ground updates like a new irrigation pipeline, plus replacement of two water services and five sewer drains. Xcel Energy also decided to update natural gas pipelines. A conduit line was installed, too, to hold fiber optic internet and broadband lines in the future.

The project will additionally incorporate wider sidewalks, pedestrian light fixtures, electrical outlets and a drip irrigation system for planters and hanging baskets. And the town will install art pedestals in the coming months.

According to Frank Watt, Palisade’s public works director, he hopes to receive a grant from the Governor’s Energy Office to fund the installation of an electric vehicle-charging station.

Once the Main Street underground project is complete, roads will be repaved and resurfaced.

“We may be a bit dusty and messy right now, but businesses are still open,” said Juliann Adams, executive director of Palisade Chamber of Commerce. “We encourage people to still visit downtown.”

Current visitors to Palisade’s downtown should park along side streets or in the dirt lot north of the railroad tracks; from there it’s only a short walk to visit shops and restaurants.

“I’m looking forward to the improvements done to the pipelines,” said Carol Mueller, who owns Lavender Lady (located at 319 Main St., Palisade). “Our town needed it. I hope people still will come down and visit us though, as we are open.”

Mueller added that she is excited for the Farmer’s Markets to start up in June and the construction to be finished.

According to Adams, current construction will help with the flow of festival traffic between the Palisade Community Center and downtown,

“When it’s all over we will have a wonderful Main Street,” she said.

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