Park­ing to be lim­ited for street re­pairs

El Dorado News-Times - - Front Page - By Tia Lyons Staff Writer Tia Lyons may be con­tacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ el­do­radonews. com.

Park­ing space on the streets of down­town El Do­rado will get a lit­tle tighter over the next sev­eral days as city crews be­gin milling and over­lay­ing streets ahead of the open­ing of the Murphy Arts District.

Work will com­mence to­day at South Wash­ing­ton be­tween Oak and Hills­boro, said Robert Ed­monds, di­rec­tor of pub­lic works.

Con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity has been ramp­ing up in re­cent weeks as time winds down un­til the grand open­ing cel­e­bra­tion for the new arts and en­ter­tain­ment district on Sept. 27 — Oct. 1.

Phase 1 of the $100 mil­lion MAD project is un­der con­struc­tion in the area of Cedar, Jef­fer­son, Lo­cust and Hill.

El Do­rado Fes­ti­vals and Events, Inc., a pri­vate non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, is spear­head­ing the project.

The historic Grif­fin Auto build­ing on Lo­cust is be­ing trans­formed into a restau­rant and per­for­mance venue. An am­phithe­ater and ope­nair mar­ket space have gone up next to the Grif­fin build­ing.

With the work on­go­ing, the city had been wait­ing un­til con­struc­tion had ad­vanced to a point where street re­pairs could com­mence in the Union Square District.

Mayor Frank Hash had long noted plans to im­prove streets in the down­town area to com­ple­ment the new MAD and to pre­pare for outof-town vis­i­tors who ex­pected to come to El Do­rado for MAD events.

How­ever, city of­fi­cials later re­ferred to some un­ex­pected grow­ing pains — 840,000 of them — that have come with all the new con­struc­tion.

Dur­ing an El Do­rado City Coun­cil meet­ing in July, city of­fi­cials learned that in­fra­struc­ture in­stal­la­tion and im­prove­ments —in­clud­ing elec­tri­cal, wa­ter and waste­water com­po­nents — and the use of heavy con­struc­tion equip­ment have dam­aged sev­eral streets in and around the MAD perime­ter.

Al­der­men ul­ti­mately agreed to pull $840,000 from the re­serve cof­fers of the city’s street fund to resur­face por­tions of sev­eral down­town streets.

“We’re go­ing to get started on Wash­ing­ton (to­day), milling and cut­ting,” Ed­monds said Wed­nes­day.

Work will then move to Cedar, Hill, Jack­son and Jef­fer­son.

“Then Oak and Elm streets will be last. Our goal is to be done by next Fri­day (Sept. 22),” Ed­monds said.

He ad­vised res­i­dents that park­ing in work ar­eas will be lim­ited over the next sev­eral days.

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