Downtown bricks re-laid after owners compain to mayor
Workers during the past week have re-laid bricks along the south side of Fourth Street to improve the appearance of the pavement.
The bricks are part of a border that provides continuity throughout a new sidewalk project that's included in a $713,600 renovation plan in downtown Tonganoxie.
"I think that the brick part of it is adequate," said Chris Eppley, city manager. "I think they have done a good job. Understand here, when you're talking about a construction project, it's not an exact or precise medium."
Imprecision cropped up when measurements were taken for the brickwork. First, the concrete sidewalks were poured. Then came the bricks. But too much room in some cases, several inches was left for the bricks.
"Once that happened, we found the mistake," Eppley said, referring to engineering firm serving as the city's consultant on the project.
So did several downtown business owners, who complained to Tonganoxie Mayor John Franiuk. After a meeting last Thursday among city officials, business owners and contractors, workers began re-laying the bricks.
Brian Kingsley, project engineer with the consulting firm, BG Consultants, said he and others were aware of the problem even before business owners started speaking out.
"There were some concerns," he said, "and it takes time in a construction project to deal with issues that have come up."
The city administrator said he's satisfied that future phases of the project will not be plagued with this problem.
Don Pelzl, owner of Pelzl True Value, 423 E. Fourth, was among business owners upset with the bricks.
"It looks as good as it's going to look," Pelzl said.
"If that was on my side of the street, I would not be satisfied."
Another downtown business owner, Calvin Quisenberry, said the brickwork looks better.
"I'm glad they came back and redid the squares, where they were pretty sloppily done," said Quisenberry whose funeral home is at Fourth and Delaware streets.
"I still have some concerns about the long pieces along there because there are some pretty good gaps in there. I'm happy with the overall look of it. I'm excited about the entire project. We just need to fine-tune it and make sure it's up to everybody's satisfaction as we go along."