Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

'Tour of Possibilities' aims for more businesses, people to Square

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All eyes were on Lebanon Public Square renovations Thursday as Realtors, developers, entrepreneurs and city officials joined together for a "Tour of Possibilities" presented by Historic Lebanon.

Historic Lebanon Executive Director Kim Parks welcomed guests to the luncheon, held in the upstairs area of the Capitol Theatre. She explained that the Lebanon Square Safety Project, currently in the works thanks to Tennessee Department of Safety grant money and the City of Lebanon, had gone "as smooth as it can."

The project began in the fall of 2014 to "separate pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic," according to City of Lebanon Engineering Director of Capital Projects Randy Laine.

Construction, completed in phases, removed the parking area that surrounded the monument of General Robert Hatton, and moved it into four quadrants - turning the square into a roundabout.

Laine said that when TDOT presented funds, Mayor Philip Craighead and the Lebanon City Council "saw fit" to contribute $700,000 to the $1.2 million total project for beautification.

He said that when construction by Civil Constructors began the biggest fear from local shop owners was that it would halt their business during the busy holiday season. To ease their concerns, Laine asked that construction be paused in December.

In January, traffic was moved to the roundabout and work on the northwest quadrant began. The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 days.

"Once that is done the landscaping can begin," Laine added. "I can't say enough good things about the business owners and everyone who has worked on this project."

Landscaping won't be the only new attraction. Mayor Craighead announced plans for a "trolley station" in the parking lot on the southwest corner, where the front of the old courthouse would have been. Parking would still be available, but Craighead said the station would house two event stages.

"I'm excited about downtown and for more people to come downtown," he said.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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