The city of Springfield paved the way for starting the next phase of its streetscape project.
City council members approved a bid Tuesday night for the locally-funded portion of phase 2 of the streetscape. The streetscape will run on the east side of Laurel Street — across from city hall — from First Street to the light at Madison Street.
Council members also expressed their relief the streetscape project continues to move forward.
“We started that first thing eight years ago,” said council member Charles Hinely.
Said Mayor Barton Alderman: “For two years, the state said they had no money.”
Council members awarded the bid to Swindell Construction of Glennville. Seven companies submitted bids for the work, and Swindell’s price quote of $204,948.40 was the lowest by more than $10,000. The three lowest bids were all under $230,000.
Swindell also has completed a streetscape project in Claxton and a pedestrian corridor in Darien.
“We want to do something with the TE (transportation enhancement) project to highlight Cleveland Street as the center point,” said city manager Brett Bennett.
The cost for this phase was lower, Bennett said, because the city did not have as much utility work to do.
Jamey Stancell of the Springfield Merchants Association said his group had two concerns about the streetscape project. They wanted to know if the light poles to be erected would have electrical outlets in their bases and if this section of work would be completed in time for the second Springfield Fall Festival.
Bennett said the work would be the fall and any street lights would be done under a separate contract with Georgia Power.
Stancell also asked if the city could make the new sidewalks more visually appealing by adding in a series of brick pavers along the sidewalk. The entire project will cover 1,267 linear feet.
“Pavers all the way down the street would be expensive,” he said. “We also understand we have projects that mean as much as pavers across the sidewalk. We want to see downtown look nice, and if it’s financially feasible, we’d like to see it.”
Bennett added the South Railroad Avenue sewer project “is all but officially done,” he said.
“Everyone is pleased and happy with it,” Bennett said.
Pearl Thomas, a resident who helped push for the project, said she has not heard anything negative. One man told her, she said to council members, that he took a shower and the water drained away “the best he’s ever seen.”
“It took a while,” Alderman said of the project to Thomas, “and we appreciate your patience.”