City to bring back brick streets downtown
Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2016
For roughly 60 years, the red brick roads of downtown Bainbridge were covered by asphalt. That began to change on Monday when the Downtown Development Authority and City of Bainbridge workers uncovered the brick road on Water Street in front of the Bon Air.
“We are trying to do it with a minimal inconvenience to the businesses,” DDA executive director Amanda Glover said. “I think it’s just awesome. It’s beautiful. It’s just bringing back a little bit of the history to downtown.”
The original bricks were laid in downtown Bainbridge in 1912 and covered sometime in the late 1950s. The first patch, on Water Street in front of the elections office, was uncovered in 2010.
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The DDA plans to continue to uncover the old brick roads throughout the downtown area with the next block of Water Street in front of Crave undergoing the change next. They will then work on West and Broughton streets. The asphalt on Broad Street cannot be removed because it is a state-trucking route.
Glover said that five pallets of bricks have been purchased to repair damage that has occurred over the years such as the two large holes that were discovered in front of the Bon Air.
“This went better than we thought,” city manager Chris Hobby said. “It came up very easy and the brick that was under neither was in good shape. We got a lot accomplished and we’ll see what the next section looks.”
Uncovering the brick roads is part of the DDA’s master plan to revitalize downtown Bainbridge. They will also be changing some of the parking from parallel to angular to better serve the community.
“I know a lot of people don’t like parallel parking, they prefer angular parking,” Hobby said. “So we’re going to bring that back and I think that’ll be popular.”
After removing the asphalt, the bricks were cleaned using fire hoses and street sweepers to remove much of the debris left behind. New asphalt has also been laid to create a smooth transition between the bricks and the existing roads at the intersections. Glover said that they will also create smooth curbs to cover the asphalt lips that are currently between the existing curve and the bricks.