Mud covers the area where a sidewalk used to be. Gravel forms a sea of dips and hills around the entrance ramp to a doctor’s office.
John Johnson sits in his wheelchair on Madison Street. With construction on the North Main Street project surrounding Dr. William Province’s office, he finds it impossible to get to the building’s entrance.
The $3.3 million project will replace the sewer system below Main and Madison streets and improve the roads and sidewalks. Construction started this summer and has left residents searching for new entrances to the businesses they want to visit and wondering if the businesses are open at all.
The city has promised to find ways to help people access businesses, especially those who visit the doctor’s office.
“First and foremost, if you’re going to visit a doctor, there’s a reason. You need to be tended to. We need to ensure the health and safety of their patients. But it’s also a downtown business, and we need to make sure they have the tools necessary to thrive,” Mayor Joe McGuinness said.
The city has made sure residents still have places to park downtown and plans to place signs on the sidewalks around Main and Madison streets informing passers-by that the businesses are still open.
But city officials plan to go a step further for Province’s patients.