Waterline repairs and street work will be wrapped up Friday and Main Street open, just in time for the Thomas More Prep-Marian homecoming parade, according to Jesse Rohr, director of public works for Hays.
The parade is set to begin at 5:25 p.m.
Main street between Ninth and 10th streets and the adjacent sidewalks have been closed since an old waterline broke Aug. 30 on the south side of the railroad tracks there.
The street should be open Thursday, perhaps by around noon, Rohr said Wednesday.
“I stopped down there this morning and talked to the contractor,” Rohr said. “It’ll be open just in time for Friday’s parade.”
Workers for J Corp, Hays, were putting the final touches on the road repairs on Wednesday. They had just completed laying the bricks back into the street, and were cleaning them up and power washing them.
The TMP-Marian parade Friday is the first of three parades over the next few weeks, with TMP-Marian followed by Fort Hays State University and Hays High School.
“We have three parades right in a row,” said Sara Bloom, executive director of the Downtown Hays Development Corp., which markets downtown Hays.
Having Main Street open in time is “a very big deal,” Bloom said. “We’re kind of the parade capital.”
Homecoming committees and alumni have been planning for all three of the events.
“For Main Street to be closed, that would have been a huge damper on the parade,” she said, complimenting the city for keeping downtown businesses updated on progress. “Open communication helps.”
When repairs began, the contractors removed the brick pavers that are the street’s defining characteristic and neatly stacked them to the side.
“They put the same brick back in,” Rohr said.
The Main Street bricks were laid in the 1990s, to replace much older brick, Rohr said.. Other streets in town have brick that dates as far back as the 1900s, he said.
The cost to repair the street portion of the Main Street repair will be about $35,000, Rohr said. Laying bricks added time and cost to the project.
Brick requires a concrete base, then sand, then the bricks. That process takes longer, requires more downtime, and is more labor intensive, Rohr said.
M&D Excavating, Hays, repaired the waterline by replacing it with a segment of new waterline about 80- to 90-feet long.