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Amazingly, the windows in an unearthed window well at the First National Bank building were still all in one piece.

Mayor's Minute: Thoughts from Sara Carlson, Alexandria Mayor, The buzz on Broadway

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Time to celebrate;  phase one draws to an end It is really time for celebration! Phase one is finally drawing to an end. I know that phase one merchants are definitely ready.

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Weather was not our friend in this phase as well as a few other glitches that we will learn from to make the other phases go better. Thus, we have finished strong on phase one and started on phase two with enthusiasm.

The actual road is done and the striping crew is on site. The striping is actually ground into the cement so the snow plow doesn’t scrap it off. The crew lays out the pattern and then grinds down about a quarter of an inch and actually paints in that ground-off pattern with epoxy paint.

The sidewalk is being finished. They brought in a second crew to finish as quickly as possible. It has to be done in sort of a random pattern. It is three colors on the sidewalks and a grey color denoting the driveways into businesses. A red strip goes from curb to business and brown and charcoal are the other colors in the pattern.

Landscape pavers will be placed between the curb and gutter and the sidewalk in a wave pattern. Those pavers are also being laid at this time.

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I had a question from the guys at Northwood’s Café about the sidewalk cement and if it will fade and how to match it again if it should need to be replaced. The answer, according to Tim Schoonhoven, city engineer, is that it will fade a little – it all will. If some of it needs to be replaced for some reason down the road, we will match it just like you would match paint for your house. It won’t be perfect but, pretty close. Even as they mix batches of the colors of cement for this project from end to end, the colors will have a slight variance of color.

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Phase two started Monday and is scheduled to take four weeks. They started with the removal of the existing steam lines and will move right from there to putting in the new utilities. You are now familiar with what is happening as you have seen this in phase one.

Fun find in phase two: Five window wells intact on the north side of the old First National Bank building! These unearthed window wells have glass still intact, simply boarded over then cemented over.

Watch this week for the removal of the barricades for Fifth Avenue. You will be able to start traveling down that street soon.

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