From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — While new restaurants, brew pubs, and retail stores are the buzz of the downtown redevelopment in Trussville, an equally important aspect of the project is infrastructure. The plan for improved traffic flow, better pedestrian routes, ample public parking, and utility relocation are at the heart of the project.
The Trussville city council received an update on the downtown project at Thursday’s work session. The update included plans by Alabama Power to remove utility poles from Main Street in the downtown area, a move Mayor Buddy Choat said would improve aesthetics.
“Downtown will just look better,” Choat said. “It’s a big job, but Alabama Power has a pretty aggressive plan to create a loop around downtown and move all of the utility poles off of Main Street. Just getting the poles off of the intersection of Main and Chalkville will be a major improvement. They will be replaced with decorative poles and arms for the traffic signals. We also have downtown sidewalks in front of the cemetery with poles right in the middle. Those will be gone, too. Decorative street lights will replace the current lighting on the utility poles.”
The plan involves moving the utility poles off of Main Street to create a loop around downtown.
On the north side of Main Street, the path will run approximately down Glenn Avenue to Linden Street along side the Trussville City School Central Office to Cherry Street. On the south side of Main Street, the loop will follow Watterson Parkway to Pinchgut Creek and Railroad Avenue. Some of the preparation for the move was done when the city recently redeveloped Railroad Avenue.
“This will be a coordinated project because the poles carry more than electricity,” Choat said. “The also have Centurylink telephone lines and cable lines. Essentially, all of the lines will loop around the four downtown quads and then utilities will go underground to be brought back in to downtown buildings.”
Referred to by engineers as the “main distribution infrastructure 4-quad loop,” the system is expected to be ready by June 1.
“We want to turn dirt in Quad 1 in June,” Choat said. “I’ve been told that’s pretty optimistic, but businesses are ready to get open and the council and I are ready to see this happen so we’re going to keep pushing everyone involved. I think we’re all pleased with the project and the pieces just keep falling into place.”