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Tyler updates council on streetscape

The first phase of the Cairo streetscape project to be funded in large part with a $700,000 federal grant is moving slowly, but surely toward a construction start in the spring of 2015.
The grant was awarded to the city in May 2011 and was the largest grant awarded to any other municipality in the second congressional district.
On Monday night, Celeste Tyler of the city staff updated the council on the major project that will reduce lanes on Broad Street and will include significant landscaping, benches and lighting in the business district south of the railroad.
The preliminary plans for the project were completed last month and have been submitted to the state officials for approval.
“Once the plans have been approved they will release the funding to the city. We will begin moving forward with the required advertising and soliciting bids for the construction,” Mrs. Tyler said Monday night.
According to Mrs. Tyler, the construction of this first phase of the streetscape would take approximately four to six months.
“We would never consider having our downtown torn up during the holiday season so hopefully construction can begin in early 2015,” Mrs. Tyler said.
Councilman Kermit Gilliard asked how quickly the city could apply for another grant to complete the streetscape north of the railroad.
City Manager Chris Addleton said the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Department of Transportation are not currently accepting additional applications as the program is being revamped. However, he said just as soon as new applications are being accepted he would recommend the city move forward with applying for a grant for phase two.
Mrs. Tyler said that phase two, which has already been designed as has phase three, would run from the railroad to Roddenbery Memorial Library. The phase three of the streetscape would connect Broad Street to Davis Park on the east and to the Grady Cultural Center on the west.
“This has been an extremely long process, but it has been very educational as well,” Mrs. Tyler said.

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