Opp downtown progress moves to Main Street today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Work is set to begin today on Phase 3 of Opp’s Downtown Revitalization plan, Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar said.

Edgar said Main Street will receive the same upgrades as the East Covington Avenue project did, which includes new post street lighting, new sidewalks, street paving and landscaping.

The city will also move the utility lines underground.

North West Building Supply is in charge of the upgrades.

Edgar said residents can expect an occasional delay in traffic.

“We are going to do one side at a time, so there will be a little inconvenience,” he said. “The street will not be closed off for the entire time; if it has to be it will only happen for a short period.”

Edgar reminded residents that while the beautification could cause some moments of headache, the improvements are being made to draw people to the city.

“With the bypass coming to Opp, it took a lot of business from our downtown merchants,” he said. “We hope by making Opp more eye-appealing and putting signs to draw people off the bypass, it will make people stop and trade with our gas stations, restaurants and other merchants.”

Phase 2 of the project, which will revitalize West Covington Avenue, was originally planned to coincide with the Main Street portion, but Edgar said the project will be re-bid.

“We rejected all bids for the West Covington Avenue project,” he said. “All of the bids came in too high.”

Edgar said the city is working with engineers to modify and cutback the plans.

“Our engineers are currently working to modify and cut corners,” he said. “The original plan ran more than we anticipated.”

Edgar said the city hopes to advertise for bids within the next three to four weeks.

In addition, Edgar said the city had received the results from the traffic study, which was conducted to see if it was feasible for a four-way stop to be installed at Covington Avenue and Main Street.

“We will put in a four-way stop at Covington and Main Street,” he said.

In the final phase of Opp’s downtown project, the traffic lights at Covington and Main will be removed and replaced with stop signs. | Kendra Bolling/Star News