Pikeville rolling out long-planned streetscape project

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Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 6:46 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Pikeville’s Second Street is getting an update as a years-long project kicks off next week.

The Second Street Streetscape Project begins Monday with the first of five phases, replacing the pavement with pavers and changing up the crosswalk at the intersection of Second and Division streets.

The construction, which officials expect to take one week, kicks off several weeks-worth of planned work to change the traffic pattern and expand the sidewalk areas from Division to Caroline Avenue, creating a larger, more inviting street for visitors to enjoy.

City Manager Philip Elswick says the project, first announced in 2018 as part of the 2-D initiative, will bring a much-needed face lift to the street, highlighting the arts and culture aspects the city has worked to incorporate in its mission to move forward.

“Mayor (Jimmy) Carter and this Commission believe that arts and tourism are tremendous economic drivers,” said Elswick.

He said growing the city sometimes means changing things up a bit, which is what this street change will do.

“People want to do something. They don’t want to just shop or whatever the case may be. They want to have an experience when they go out,” he said. “So, we feel like this is probably the phase that will make the biggest change to the downtown area.”

The street will include several landscape additions and parklets and will be equipped to close off on either end to be used as an events space- something the street has been transformed into by the Main Street Program over the last few years.

“Just the sheer number of events and the things that we do downtown, solely designed to bring people down here, has really changed our downtown area and made it a much more viable place to have a business,” Elswick said.

The traffic flow will also meander, shifting from the current straight stretch to make drivers slow down a bit for shoppers. Those changes come with time and Elswick asks for patience from the public as they make it happen.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep traffic moving in the downtown area, but there are there will be some times that that’s just not possible- but we certainly intend to limit those,” Elswick said.

The city posted traffic plans on its Facebook page and will continue to update alternative routes as the construction moves.

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