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Town of Lyons East Main St. Streetscape Project awarded “Project of the Year”
LYONS, CO – The Town of Lyons’ recently-completed East Main Street Streetscape Project was named Project of the Year, by Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP) – Lyons’ electric energy provider. A plaque and $200 check was presented at NMPP’s annual conference in South Sioux City, Nebraska, on March 29.
Nominated projects were judged by impartial judges through NMPP, based on “the benefits created for the betterment of utility-related employees or customers of the utility”.
The $2.4 million streetscape renovation along the US-36 mid-corridor of Main Street in Lyons, Colo. was completed in late fall 2016. The project was the second phase of streetscape improvements, following the West Main Street streetscape improvement project, completed in 2010.
This project was equipped to begin in 2013, when efforts were halted by a historic 500+ year flood, declared as an emergency by Governor John Hickenlooper and a national disaster by former President Barack Obama. Nearly two years into recovery, the project was revived and set into motion. This project was a collaborative effort between Boulder County, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and the Town of Lyons.
The streetscape improvements featured new energy-efficient LED ornamental lighting that illuminate the street and sidewalks, where light had not previously existed. The fixtures were a principal element in connecting the previously renovated West Main Street, as their same design and decorative banners were extended through the mid-corridor; however, the technology used throughout Phase II was a significant improvement from the previous phase. Compared to the Phase I lighting, the new LED lights reduce energy consumption considerably, have an improved lighting footprint to reduce light pollution, and have a significantly longer lifespan.
New sidewalks, curb & gutter, driveway consolidations, pedestrian crossings, tree plantings, and landscaping were also incorporated, fostering a safe, pedestrian-friendly setting. Nearly 50 new public parking spaces were added, which has aided in calming traffic, reducing congestion, and increased accessibility of businesses. Bear-proof waste and recycling bins will be added in 2017.
The challenges of revitalizing a commercial district along a state highway were extensive; Town Staff strategically executed a working timeframe that allowed all businesses to remain open and accessible throughout construction, and carefully accommodated traffic patterns during peak volumes. Extensive communication was maintained throughout the project; communications, engineering, public works, and economic development teamed continuously to produce ongoing updates of timelines, road closures, safety, and progress, with the community and individual businesses. Means of communications included Town-wide and project-specific eblasts, informational brochures and handouts for businesses, utility billing newsletters, and regular direct correspondence and meetings with the local business owners.
The Town is proud of the innovation achieved through the Phase II Streetscape project. With the precedence of energy-efficiency, ingenuity through strategic and aesthetic design, and continuous collaboration among Town departments, local businesses, and the community, this project will serve as a standard for all future downtown revitalization projects.