Crossville downtown about to see upgrades

It's a renovation project that is five years in the making, but just now becoming a reality for the city of Crossville.

This spring, construction will begin on the downtown along Main Street.

Mayor J.H. Graham took office with a goal in mind: get the city up with times and bring in more business.

Last Thursday, he says he took a big step in the right direction. The city accepted bids for his downtown renovation project that will cost $10.4 million.

Graham said the infrastructure needs an update.

"Business goes where it is invited and you're not sending out the right message if your infrastructure isn't up to date. Who would spend a million dollars on a building when you're not sure where the storm drains are, or if there will be a five lane road or parking places, and most of those questions are answered with this project," said Graham.

The project tackles a number of issues along Main Street. It will replace water lines that are 90 years old and add a new storm sewer. Both are moves that will increase fire and flood protection.

Another big part of the project will be replacing the streetlights around downtown. As of now they are costing the city $9,000 a year. They are going to switch that to an LED light that will be much more cost and energy efficient.

The two-year construction project will have an impact on the downtown as sections of the road will be shut off for the renovations one block at a time.

Corey Legair and her daughter started a business along Main Street called Cahoots.

She said the construction will impact her shop.

"Will it affect business? Of course! But I am looking at the long view and am very excited for two years from now when we have a beautiful Main Street," said Legair.

Legair is a member of the Downtown Crossville Inc. non -profit group. This group was instrumental in organizing this project.

This project will be going on simultaneously with another multi-million dollar project down the road - the expansion of the Northwest Connector.

The plan will also make the sidewalks ADA compliant. The city will also add Orchard Stone along the curb.

Mayor Graham said the project will be paid for through grants, loans, property taxes, sales taxes, and water sewer rate taxes. He doesn't expect any increase in these taxes because of the project.


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