MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - Part of Marshall’s downtown has been taken down to the dirt, but it’s to make conditions better than they were before. KLTV takes us there to see the progression, and if it’s business as usual for downtown merchants.
There’s no doubt it looks like a mess in downtown Marshall, but businesses are open, according to Marshal City Spokesperson Stormy Nickerson. It’s partly for beautification but:
“Most importantly to make sure that this block is compliant with the American Disabilities Act,” Nickerson said.
Robert Sorich owns Central Perks inside the historical Weisman Center and agrees the sidewalks need repair.
“The roots from the old trees that were here tore the sidewalk up.,” Sorich said.
The brick on both sides of the street had become uneven over the years.
“The corners were dangerous to walk on because of all the different levels of the bricks and everything,” Sorich said.
Nickerson says the trees didn’t have root blockers, and were the wrong kind.
“In consultation directly with Texas Forestry Service we were advised to remove the trees because the roots were doing damage to the buildings on this block, as well as the city infrastructure,” Nickerson said.
“And the roots were actually digging into the side of buildings and causing leaks,” Sorich said.
So they removed the trees and are ripping out the sidewalk to start over and do it the right way.
“The Texas Forestry Service has helped us pick out other trees that will be colorful and also have a small root ball,” Nickerson said.
They will use root blockers to help keep the new sidewalks level. And business? Sorich says it going:
“Okay. Sales are definitely down, but as you can see our local favorites, they find their way in regardless. We’ve got people knocking on the back door; hey let me in, so we just let them in the back door,” Sorich laughed.
The password for rear entry is probably: Customer, but there is plywood on the ground out front to keep people out of the dirt. The city says they’re ahead of schedule, and hope to have downtown dirt free by the end of April.
They experienced a bit of a glitch when workers discovered a nearly century old clay drainage pipe that wasn’t on record. They had to remove it and suspect there’s another one under the sidewalk across the street.
They are storing the wood from the trees for future use. Residents are encouraged to give the city suggestions about what to do with the wood.
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