Work started on schedule Monday morning for Morenci’s parking lot rebuilding project and by mid-afternoon there wasn’t much concrete left in place. Milling equipment removed the old surface and left the city’s two parking lots on the south side of Main Street with nothing but dirt.
Last week Morenci mayor Keith Pennington was urging business owners with property bordering a parking lot to return easements to city hall. The final one was returned Monday morning.
The easements allow the city to complete the project as designed, building a sidewalk with a curb along the back of the businesses and creating some “green spaces” for vegetation.
Without an easement, the project would only go as far as the city’s property and it would have left an unusable area of old pavement between the sidewalk and the back of a building.
Now that the initial work on the entire parking area is complete, a portion of the lot will be set aside each day for limited parking spots. The temporary area may move from day to day as work progresses.
The purpose of creating a uniform edge to the lot, complete with curbing and sidewalk, is to clean up the area at the back of the buildings, said project engineer Scott Merillat, and make the back entrances to stores more attractive.
Mayor Pennington urges that store employees leave these areas open for customers, as well as the parking spots on Main Street. He’s hoping the Main Street parking will be available for customers who can’t easily walk from a parking lot on the north side of Main Street.