Road construction and infrastructure improvements on North Main and East and West Court streets in downtown Franklin have recently been under scrutiny for causing inconvenience and a financial hardship for downtown businesses.
Here is a brief history of the North Main Street Project. It had been funded and scheduled for nearly 10 years; construction was scheduled to last nearly two years, and multiple public meetings were conducted with a preconstruction meeting in April 2012 with approximately 150 people in attendance.
As for the Court Street project, a public meeting was conducted at Beeson Hall outlining the project with timelines and renderings provided by engineers. The meeting was well-attended with valuable input from residents resulting in the overwhelming consent to move forward.
During the preconstruction phase, the city staff spent time with individual business owners to answer any questions or concerns they may have had.
In addition, city staff, engineers and construction workers have given frequent updates to affected residents and business owners throughout both projects. These updates have also been available at regular public meetings.
The City of Franklin, Sunesis Construction and Discover Downtown Franklin have extended
services to those affected by providing additional signage to businesses, social media marketing, clean street parking before long weekends, temporary sidewalks for patrons, a Construction 101 program for children at Imagination
Station, cash mobs to boost sales and assistance to patients visiting Dr. William Province’s office, just to name a few.
I must also commend Sunesis and Parsons Brinckerhoff for operating with such efficiency that construction will likely conclude this year instead of the anticipated timeline of April 2014.
Obviously, it is never the city’s intent to hinder business but, rather, enhance the city for everyone.
As we approach the five-year anniversary of the devastating flood that paralyzed much of the city, we must continue to improve our aging infrastructure for the betterment of the community.
As we embark on these significant improvements throughout the entire city, please bear with us as there is much to be completed. Please know the city will continue to provide assistance and work with those affected.
Joe McGuinness is mayor of Franklin. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org