Seaforth 'big dig' sparks innovative back alley project
SEAFORTH, ONT. -- Seaforth’s Main Street has been closed for construction since April, and will remain a construction zone all summer long.
“I’d like to have traffic back on the Main Street by the end of September,” says Huron East Public Works Director, Barry Mills.
Having Main Street ripped up was bad enough for Seaforth’s businesses, but add in COVID-19 and it was a double whammy no one was expecting.
“Road construction looks like a cakewalk compared to COVID-19, but I’m so glad we were prepared,” says Huron East Economic Development Officer, Jan Hawley.
Hawley had already been preparing a project to turn Seaforth’s businesses back doors, into their front doors to deal with construction.
In what was a rarely used back alley parallel to Main Street, painted doors are going up Monday.
There’s a vintage phone booth already up, some tongue in cheek signs along the construction fence, and some brightly coloured doors with flower boxes and historical photos of the last time Seaforth’s Main Street was rebuilt in the late 60s.
“It’s kind of a look back as we’re looking forward to this this neat thing that’s happening on the Main Street,” says Heritage Architect, Chris Cooper who is helping with the back alley project.
Hawley says the plan it to make Seaforth’s back alley beautification a permanent thing, for locals and visitors to enjoy, even after Main Street construction is completed.
“This will be here long after the construction, and it’s to attract people. Not just our local people, but people from other communities as well,” she says.
There’s more to come, say Cooper and Hawley, including this mural, to make Seaforth’s back doors, as beautiful as it’s soon to be reconstructed front doors.
“There’s lots more to come, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Between Jan and I, I think we’re spinning some really cool stuff,” says Cooper.