2018 was an exciting year for Sparta! Finding it necessary to replace our existing 80-year old waterline, we have worked to create strategic renovation of our downtown corridor through the Sparta Downtown Streetscape & Waterline Project. This important initiative includes updates and improvements that will strengthen our infrastructure, support our economic development goals, and benefit our town for generations to come.
We look forward to working with our citizens, local businesses, and project partners to ensure the initiative runs as smoothly as possible with minimal disruption to day-to-day downtown activities. This website, which will be updated through the year, is designed to keep you informed of our plans and progress.
The Sparta Downtown Streetscape & Waterline Project will include:
Below is a written overview of our work and an update on progress from late November to early February:
Streetscape and Waterline Construction is expected to take place between mid-July (after the July 4th parade) and late-November of 2018 (before the annual Christmas parade). The final stages of the Roadway and Paving Construction is expected to be completed over a 30-day period following in Spring 2019. The process will be carefully planned to minimize, to the extent possible, any impact on parking, traffic flow, and pedestrian access to local businesses. We appreciate your patience as we work to implement important updates and improvements to our downtown, including the following:
Pedestrian-Scale Street Lights:
These lights, which will illuminate the sidewalk and on-street parking, will feature:
Thornless Honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos variety Inermis) trees will be planted in grates along the sidewalk. Features include:
This tree is slow to leaf out in the Spring, but, when it does, the foliar display is “a sight to behold” as described by one botanist. The new foliage starts out yellow, then morphs to a still attractive greenish-yellow, before assuming a light green shade in summer. When it is time for the fall-foliage display, the leaves return to the yellow color that marked them in the Spring.
Pole-Mounted Traffic Lights:
The traffic light at Whitehead and Main will be transitioned from a wire-mounted light to a pole-mounted light with a mast arm. (The actual traffic light will reside overhead on the mast arm, as opposed to the pole.) Street names will also be mounted overhead on the mast arm.
Benches will be placed at key locations along the downtown sidewalks and will have the following features:
In addition to street signs, the streetscape will include:
Both types of signs will be custom designed for Sparta. The shape will coordinate with the county branding package, mimicking the Blue Ridge Parkway stone underpass.
A large team is working behind the scenes to ensure this important initiative runs as smoothly as possible. This team, which focuses on both construction design and communications design, is made up of representatives from the Town of Sparta, Alleghany Chamber of Commerce, Sparta Revitalization Committee, Blue Ridge Business Development Center, Destination by Design, McGill Associates, and Versado Foundation.