Editorial: Broadway project has to happen

Published 9:09 am Friday, April 12, 2013

It’s too bad the estimates for the Broadway renovation came in $495,000 higher than the estimate.

That said, we are sure city officials can solve the problem either through soliciting more bids, reducing the project scale or finding the additional funds through outside sources. It’s their decision. They are the elected leaders.

But here is what is off the table: Not renovating Broadway.

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The sewer and water lines beneath the street must be replaced. Period. And it makes little sense to tear up the street and replace it exactly the way it is now. That would cost the same as a new streetscape design.

Our city leaders — and any city’s leaders — ought be thinking about the future needs just as much as the present needs, and the most economically sound time to redesign downtown is when the sewer and water lines must be replaced.

Moreover, the city already has acquired $1 million from the state in bonding funds to offset some of the cost of the downtown work.

And the costs of construction only continue to rise. Wait a year, and everything just costs more than it already does. Now is less expensive than later.

It’s not whether the city should do work on Broadway. The discussion is about what sort of work will be done.

So as citizens providing input to the city, let’s stop trying to halt the project and instead give input on what the renovation should include or not include. That’s the constructive feedback our city officials truly need and want.