A downtown Middletown business owner hopes this month’s First Friday event attracts customers downtown and provides a financial boost for the businesses struggling during the construction project.
Pardon Our Progress on Central Celebration, set for 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday during the monthly First Friday event, will feature live entertainment and other activities, said Adriane Scherrer, owner of We Can Business Incubator.
Scherrer understands why some business owners have expressed their concerns about the lack of on-street parking caused by the construction, but she believes the long-term benefits will outweigh the negative impact.
The business owners need to appreciate what the city is doing “for them, not to them,” she said. “Celebrate what the city is doing for us.”
Central Avenue, between Charles Street and Verity Parkway, is expected to be closed through June 28, weather permitting, according to city officials.
The .56-mile project is expected to be complete by the end of the year, weather permitting, city officials said.
Milcon Concrete Inc.’s bid of $7,671,291.59 was 6.3% higher than the engineer’s estimate, but 8.4% lower than the next lowest bid, city officials said.
The project includes full-depth pavement replacement, utility replacements and upgrades (water, sewer and storm sewer), pedestrian upgrades including new sidewalks and enhanced crossings, streetscape improvements such as paver amenity strip with decorative street furnishings including benches, bike racks, trash receptacles, street trees and landscape planters, traffic signal upgrades at Canal Street and Clinton Street intersections and decorative LED street light upgrades.
Pardon Our Progress on Central Celebration, Scherrer said, is a joint effort among the city, Downtown Middletown Inc. and her business.
The city’s stage will be placed on Central Avenue between White Dog Distilling Co & Saloon and DC Roadhouse and will feature live entertainment from Steel Cuts.
Cleveland-Cliffs has provided a time capsule that will be buried in June 2023, Scherrer said.
The capsule will include 10 pictures of what’s happening in Middletown this year and letters from local children who are answering three questions: What’s important to you now? What do you like to do on weekends? What do you want to do later in life?
The children who participate will receive hard hats from Cliffs.
Poker chips, attached to coins, will be buried in the grassy area in front of DC Roadhouse and children and senior citizens will be allowed to search for them. Those poker chips will be redeemable for prizes from local businesses, she said.
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