Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fourth Street to be paved Friday

New heritage corridor hits snag with streetlights

Express Staff Writer

Streetlights purchased for Ketchum?s Fourth Street Heritage Corridor arrived on time, but damaged, this week. The overall project is on schedule for completion, but it will be left in the dark until the streetlight snafu is worked out. Photo by Willy Cook

It's crunch time on Fourth Street in downtown Ketchum, and everything is falling into place for a projected July 1 opening. Almost everything, that is.

"The streetlights are damaged. We have to send them back," Ketchum City Administrator Ron LeBlanc said Tuesday. "We had a 14-week lead time. They arrived here on time. A variety of things are wrong. Toward the top of the light there is a socket with a screw thread where you would screw in the arm for banners or flower baskets. They're dented. They're not round, so you couldn't screw that arm in."

LeBlanc said the bronze-colored streetlights were not placed in crates during their transport from Michigan.

"That's the problem," he said. "They were rolling around in the back of this trailer."

The city administrator has filed a claim with Federal Express Freight Services, but it is not yet clear how many of the lights must be returned or how long it will take to get their replacements.

In the meantime, the newly unveiled Fourth Street Heritage Corridor will be darker than anticipated.

Aside from that snag, however, it's full steam ahead on Fourth Street. Literally. The street will be paved on Friday, and all of the sidewalk pavers should be installed by the end of the week.

"We could see some traffic next week if everything goes according to plan," LeBlanc said. "We have to install public art. That'll come in on the second of July. Right now we have between six and eight pieces."

July 3 will be the first farmers' market on Fourth, between Walnut and East avenues.

And July 4 will be the "4th on Fourth" celebration, something the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau said will become an annual event.

"We look forward to introducing this new annual event where local residents and visitors can celebrate Independence Day in Ketchum," said Stefany Mahoney, member and visitor services manager for the chamber.

There will be a Kids' Carnival from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and live music beginning at 5 p.m. Paul Cox and Friends will top off the evening with a performance at 7 p.m.

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