But the fact is, the bridge is not all we will be getting from this project.
For a few million dollars, the City of Hazard will be getting a bridge, but the town will also be getting a new, functional facade that is sorely needed. For everyone’s wishes that downtown Hazard takes on a new look and becomes the center of attention it once was, and while those wishes are well intentioned, it behooves the city to crack a few eggs to make an omelet.
While the current bridge across the North Fork is a historical structure and has been around for many years, its usefulness has run its course. For practical purposes, it’s too narrow for modern traffic, and how many times have tires hit the curb turning onto and off the bridge and onto Main Street? As it is, Main Street bottlenecks at the lower end progresses, and we have heard that this bridge project will help alleviate that concern.
But couple this project with the others on Main Street, both public and private, and we think this new bridge is well worth the money that has been set aside to fund it, and when it is complete we think that the overwhelming sentiment is that Hazard’s downtown is better due to the effort.
As officials continue efforts to bank on the prospects of adventure tourism, those efforts will be better served by a county seat that can boast a lively downtown that helps to draw visitors rather than repel them; a downtown that is as aesthetically pleasing as the nature that surrounds it. And couple these efforts with those of independent, civc minded groups like the Pathfinders of Perry County and the benefits that can be afforded to the downtown area are only limited by imagination and the funds that are available.
While we still have some work to do to bring Main Street to its former glory, we think the City of Hazard is well on its way to bringing back a downtown that its citizens can be proud of, and this new bridge is one part of that whole.