July 04, 2007 CAPAC — Main St. was reopened to traffic Thursday night, four days before the Michigan Department of Transportation had stipulated, and less than two months after the business district was closed for the Streetscape project.
Village officials, business owners and residents are glad the main thoroughfare is open again and are impressed with the new look.
"I just love it," village President Mark Klug said.
"Everyone seems to love it and that makes us feel good...it's been over 100 years."
As promised, the downtown will be ready for the village's sesquicentennial celebrations July 19-22.
Installation of the street lights and a few final inspections are all that remains, Klug said.
Main St. was closed off to all traffic in mid-May when it appeared that wet weather had delayed the project. Before that crews had only closed down the northbound lane. Patrons were able to access most businesses through alley entrances.
On Thursday morning, Pat Collison filled the new planters with flowers with help from councilman Dan Donnellon, and workers completed striping the lanes and parking spots later in the day.
The $1.25 million project has been in the works for years.
Downtown Development Authority President Greg McConnell said the association of business owners had talked and dreamed of such a project for the past ten years.
"It turned out very nice. We're very pleased with everything," McConnell said.
"It's a huge improvement."
Besides giving more than $225,000 of their own monies, DDA members helped choose designs for the streetlights, park benches, planters and trash cans.
Additional funding came from the village, a $384,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and more than $394,000 from the Michigan Department of Transportation.