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Posted on: August 8, 2019

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Streetscape update

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Blvd. Streetscape Begins
Crews unearthed a reinforced concrete cylinder reuse pipe that could be almost 100 years old when they began work to unearth the piping system that will be replaced at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (MLK). Officials believe this piping is part of a raw water main that brought water from the city’s well fields west of town to the old water treatment plant at Marion Street.

The pipe is unusual and not typically used in today’s underground utility construction industry. Cutting the pipe out of the way and coupling it with the new 24” PVC reuse pipe has been an exercise in engineering creativity and brute strength. Removing the pipe through the intersection will take about two weeks.

Relocation of the reuse pipe is required to accommodate the installation of a new sanitary manhole at Magnolia Street and MLK.  Manholes at MLK and Foote Street were moved in a redesign of the streetscape after a public meeting in May at the Dickerson Center where residents requested that the manholes be removed from the travel lanes and shifted into the parking areas. All businesses along MLK are accessible to pedestrians. 

The $2.67 million project on the .3-mile stretch of Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. from Orange Avenue to International Speedway Blvd. will completely reconstruct the road’s surface, update underground utilities, widen sidewalks, install decorative lighting features and landscaping and add on-street parking on the east side of the roadway.

The streetscape project has begun at the Magnolia Avenue intersection because the underground pipes are deepest in that area. The intersection is completely closed north/south and east/west. Local traffic is permitted from Orange Avenue north to the work zone and from International Speedway Blvd. south to the work zone. All through traffic is routed around the area via Orange Avenue, Segrave Street, Lockhart Street and International Speedway Blvd. 

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