After securing funding from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, downtown Purcell is getting a much-needed face lift.
Construction to replace the sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping on Main Street began this Monday as crews started drilling-up concrete along the sidewalks.
“The priority is making [the sidewalks] Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. That’s the main reason that federal funds were made available,” said Purcell’s City Manager Dale Bunn.
“We’ve got a good downtown, we just don’t want to have any chance of discouraging shopping in the area, and we know ADA compliance has been a concern to shoppers,” Bunn added.
In total, construction will span roughly two blocks from Third Avenue to Canadian Avenue.
Despite construction struggles, Clinton Tharp, owner of Modern Vintage, thinks the project will be beneficial for surrounding businesses.
“I think it’s going to be beautiful and a good thing overall,” Tharp said.
“For business owners, this is like growing pains. It may seem like it may hurt businesses, but it’s going to be okay. We’re going to be better for it in the long run,” he added.
Bunn shared this outlook, stating, “Anywhere a StreetScape like this has happened, it has improved business in the downtown areas affected. It varies, but there’s a substantial increase,” he said.
“Something brand-new is always attractive. People will want to get out and check it out and they’ll step inside the stores while they’re doing that,” Bunn continued.
Bunn stated that the city of Purcell hopes to finish construction by November 1st, but sometime mid-November is more likely.
In the meantime, the city also plans to invite affected business owners to weekly meetings where further information and updates will be provided.
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