Crews set to rebuild parts of Main St. in Downtown Evansville

Crews set to rebuild parts of Main St. in Downtown Evansville
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 12:05 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Plans are in the works to replace two blocks of brick road on Main Street in Evansville.

City leaders say Main Street is the hub for economic activity downtown. If you’ve ever there you probably recognize its signature brick, one-way street which winds in front of storefronts and restaurants. This is noteworthy because, as city officials say, the street was never meant to have cars on it.

On a standard day in downtown Evansville, the area is filled with people going to restaurants, shopping, or going to work; but downtown Evansville has a problem. If you listen closely, it’s a problem you can hear.

“As cars come up this block here you’ll hear the clickety-clack behind me,” said Evansville City Engineer Michael Labitzke. “That’s the failure. That’s the brick failing over time.”

City officials say the city installed the brick in the 80′s, and the area was meant to be a pedestrian space. In the decades since, vehicle traffic caused the brick to break down and come loose.

The plan is to replace the brick with a stronger alternative: concrete pavement which will be eleven inches thick.

City leaders say the process may be frustrating for those in the area, but it’s for the best.

“Everyone knows this is going to be incredibly disruptive,” said Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District President Josh Armstrong. “It’s going to be loud, it’s going to cause vibrations, but it’s something that needs to be done.”

City leaders say they planned the process to affect area residents and businesses as little as possible, and people on foot will still be able to move through Main Street when work is in progress.

City officials say it’s exciting, and intimidating, to make updates to such a prominent part of town.

“This is a pretty exciting project for me because it does touch on historical pieces of the downtown, and kind of the main engine of downtown is right here on Main Street, so we’re trying to stay as sensitive to that as possible,” said Labitzke.

Officials say work will be done in two phases:

  • From Third Street to Fourth Street: August 21 until October 13
  • Second Street to Third Street: October 2 until November 17