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Ottumwa’s Main Street on pace to re-open in Fall 2020

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 10:25 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Construction on Ottumwa’s Main Street is moving right along according to city officials.

According to Main Street Ottumwa executive director, Fred Zesiger, the year-old project is on pace to finish on time. The Main Street ‘Street Scape’ project will replace decades-old sewer and gas lines that run beneath the road.

“They think they’ll have all the pipe laid by the end of July. Then, all that’ll be left is the concrete work. So, in the 200 block, the pipe is done. They’re working on concrete now,” said Zesiger.

The construction has closed down most of the downtown area to vehicle traffic, making it difficult for consumers to get to their favorite businesses.

“”You actually have to go through a lot of work to get down here to see me. You’ve got a good solid block and a half to walk. And maybe two or three blocks to park,” said Owen McKee, part-owner of McKee Coin Inc.

McKee says that though he’s see far less walk-in trade because of the closures and the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s found ways to keep his business afloat.

“Rather than having 100 sales a day of five and ten dollar stuff. I have maybe four or five sales a day of two or three thousand dollars,” McKee explained.

Main Street officials say the finished product will be worth the wait. With renovated sidewalks and even some renovated buildings, the new-look Main Street will be far more consumer-friendly.

”I think the new Street-Scape itself is much more adaptable to pedestrians and people themselves. So, I think it’s going to be a far more pleasant downtown to be in,” Zesiger said.

Main Street is set to completely reopen in October of 2020.

Copyright 2020 KYOU. All rights reserved.

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