A paved sidewalk in front of some Santa Fe storefronts will be one of the final puzzle pieces in the remaking of downtown Salina.
Work crews with Smoky Hills Construction have been building the forms for completing the sidewalk on the east side of the street in the 100 block of Santa Fe. One of the downtown businesses impacted by construction is Ad Astra Books & Coffee House. “It’s starting to look gorgeous down here like the rest of Santa Fe,” Tammy Jarvis said on Friday.
The Proprietor of Ad Astra says the summer season was tough though – looking through the front window at a torn up street and dirt sidewalks. “A lot of our business throughout the summer is travelers,” she said.
“And Googling local coffee is super big right now and we are happy to ride that trend. But when you are coming from out of town and you have to try to traverse an ever changing landscape of orange cones ….it’s counter intuitive to think, ‘141 North Santa Fe, I’m going to go on 7th Street to get there.'”
Jarvis complimented the project overall and the foresight of the city to improve the parking lot north of her store with a new plaza that includes seating and upscale lighting. “That’s great and is just a few steps away from our front door.”
The newly poured sidewalk in front of Ad Astra along with parking spaces opened up has been a ray of sunshine for Jarvis during a cloudy week. “The light at the end of the tunnel is visible – but we’re not quite there yet.”
The $160 million dollar project which included underground waterline replacement along Santa Fe began in April of 2018. City officials point to mid-November of this year for the streetscape rebuild to be completed.
Some landscaping along the corridor may be paused if winter weather hits Salina early this fall.