The City of Kilgore has posted an update about the ongoing Main Street improvement project.

“We know there have been questions about the status of the Main Street Project, so, here’s where we are,” the city posted Friday.

The two-year, $2.3 million construction project to replace utilities, restore pavement and create an attractive entry into downtown Kilgore has continued among regular downtown events.

Engineering for the Main Street improvement project began in 2019, and several phases are planned. The first phase of the project includes removing the existing asphalt on the road in downtown Kilgore between U.S. 259 and Rusk Street.

“The asphalt was removed this summer in order to expose the original concrete road, much of which will be reused in the final project, the city posted Friday.

“The design of the new drainage, water, wastewater and roadway could not be completed with the asphalt in place but was completed rapidly once it was removed. Once the design was completed, we went out to bid and awarded the utility contract in October. The contractor has located and acquired the drainage, water and wastewater pipe needed for the project (which is on backorder nearly everywhere) and is moving forward with their portion of the project in accordance with the schedule below.”

The city, along with many other projects, has been frustrated with backordered supplies related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand the frustration with the current plan, and in order to understand why it is necessary, we only need to consider the alternative,” the city said.

“The other way to do the project would be to demolish the entire street all at once, excavating all of the water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure at one time and then going back with the new roadway, curbs and sidewalks once that is complete. This alternative would close the entire roadway to all traffic for 6-12 months and would cost millions more than the current plan. We have worked hard to develop a plan that progresses slowly so that the road can remain open during the entire project and hopefully have a less significant impact on the Main Street businesses. In other words, we could go faster, but it would be much more disruptive as well as being significantly more expensive.”

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