2011.08.03 Keith Pennington: Parking lot project

Written by David Green.

Halfway Home

Whether you are running a race, mowing the yard or heading home to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, hitting the halfway mark can lift your spirits. You have less to finish than you have already accomplished. This week marks the halfway point anticipated to complete rebuilding of the parking lots.

We started removing the pavement on July 18th and finished that task that same day. The project had all the appearances of moving much more quickly than anticipated. However, these last couple of weeks, all but the trained eye would wonder what if anything has been going on. The underground improvement work that has taken place is harder to appreciate than what is on the surface. However, like most building projects, what you start with underground is just as important as the finished project that everyone will see.

Electric poles have been moved. Storm drains installed to properly drain the parking lot and all the water coming from the building downspouts have been directed into those drains. Gas lines and phone lines have been moved, cables for television and internet have been re-routed and water lines repaired. 

We’ve found things that all but the senior citizens would have been surprised by: remnants of a bowling alley behind the bank, foundations of a factory in front of city hall and coal chutes; let’s talk about coal chutes. It seems as though there was a coal chute extending from the parking lot into every other building!

Some of the problems encountered each day made it inconvenient or costly for a business owner. Sometimes it was the city’s cost to bear. Each day it seems that the city staff needed to negotiate an issue that would satisfy the business owner, the engineer and the contractor.

Your city’s staff has done a tremendous job thus far. Each department is giving it their best so that the project will be completed on time and with the best possible results. Please be sure to thank them when you have the opportunity.

This week, most of the tearing out should be completed and you will be encouraged when you see the new features being installed. Continue to be patient, support your local businesses and look forward to the project being completed by Labor Day. As we begin to enjoy the improvements, I trust the inconvenience, dust and commotion will begin to fade from our collective memories. 

– Keith Pennington

Mayor of Morenci

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