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N. Lee St. block to change Better streetscape will be part of 'Railwalk' district

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
Work is expected to begin next week in the 300 block of North Lee Street, where crews will be burying overhead utilities.
The project is under contract with the city of Salisbury.
Urban Design Planner Lynn Raker said Duke Energy, AT&T, Time Warner Cable and city communications all will be involved in the work.
“The project entails installing a duct bank for conduits in the sidewalk area along the west side of North Lee Street, from Kerr Street to the chain-link fence behind the Police Department,” Raker said in an e-mail.
“At that point, the conduit will cross Lee Street and then continue under the sidewalk to a location near 305 N. Lee St.”
Raker said if all goes as planned, the overall construction time should be less than a month, with the street crossing scheduled in the latter stages of the work.
When the work crosses Lee Street, Raker said, the contractor will keep one lane open and cover the construction area with inch-thick steel plates when crews are not on the site.
The contractor will provide 48 hours notice to the city before closing any lane.
The general contractor for the project is Performance Cabling Technologies.
Bob Terry and Randy Daugherty are handling things for Duke Energy, and Vickie Eddleman is the city’s lead person, serving as a liaison between the contractor and utility companies.
Existing utility poles are almost against the warehouse buildings along the narrow sidewalks in the 300 and 400 blocks of North Lee Street, which Salisbury City Council has identified as one of the next downtown areas for major streetscape improvements.
This developing “Railwalk” arts and business district also has severe changes in topography and the poor sidewalks, driveways and parking. Street lights are limited.
The “Railwalk” name comes from a rail spur that goes through the center of the warehouse district, where a majority of the properties are owned by Rowan Investment Co.
Besides the burying of utility lines, other streetscape improvements envisioned include a mast-arm traffic signal pole at Kerr Street, the elevation of granite curbing, brick sidewalks, street trees, pedestrian lighting and parking improvements.
Last year, Raker estimated the cost of everything at $700,000, with an additional $175,000 built in as a contingency.
A streetscape project in the 300 and 400 blocks of North Lee Street would extend the improvements already made in the area around the Salisbury Police station and F&M Trolley Barn.
In the current budget year, City Council has budgeted $35,000 toward the utility work.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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