Berthoud Cuts Ribbon on Street Project
By Shari Phiel
It may not come as soon as business owners in the downtown would have liked, but Town staff officially reopened Mountain Avenue after months of construction renewing hopes that business along the main thoroughfare will once again pick up.
A group of about 40 to 50 people gathered at the northwest intersection of Mountain Avenue on Friday, Dec. 19 for the 2 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the Town of Berthoud.
Leading off the opening remarks was Berthoud Mayor Tom Patterson who thanked business owners and residents for the patience during the project. “You put up with way more than you had to,” Patterson said.
The mayor also thanked all of the contractors and subcontractors who worked on the project, along with several local and state organizations and finally all of the Town staff members involved with the project.
Town Administrator Jim White also noted that although there were some delays along the way, the wait was certainly worth it. Begun on June 23, the project originally was scheduled for completion around Thanksgiving although White had hoped for an earlier completion in October. Changes in the project scope and unexpected delays changed that outlook. “We’re happy to get it paved and striped and ready to go for Christmas,” White added.
When workers began removing the existing sewer, water and irrigation lines from deep below Mountain Avenue earlier this summer, they encountered several delays to address problems with hundred-year-old pipes and unmapped cables, pipes and lines. Water main breaks, rusty water and unplanned water outages soon became more frequent, frustrating business owners along Mountain Avenue trying to remain open.
Many business owners saw significant decreases, some as much as 50 percent or even higher, during the construction phase. Road closures were not only inconvenient for residents, but without readily available and easily accessed parking, many customers found it easier to shop in Loveland or Longmont.
Although not completely finished, much of the pain of the last six months should be at an end for now. Workers are still finishing up some remaining concrete work for the new sidewalks and curbs. Crews are also installing the remaining new streetlights which should be finished within the next week.
Patterson completed the ceremony by taking a two-foot big pair of scissors and cutting the ribbon strung across Mountain Avenue, completing one phase and anticipating another one on the road to downtown Berthoud.
<p>Mayor Tom Patterson (center) is joined by Town staff members, construction managers, and others at the ceremony.</p>