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When all is said and done, downtown Ketchikan looks sharp.
The sidewalk and street project along Stedman, Mill and Front streets to the tunnel started two years ago.
The project proved arduous for many pedestrians — both locals and tourists — and motor vehicles — both local and seasonal.
Rough and bumpy roadway, dust, fences and detours, along with nighttime noise, all challenged the community’s patience, particularly the downtown businesses and homeowners.
But, alas, as some repeatedly reminded others while work was underway: It would be lovely once the project came to a close.
Well, it’s nearly complete with the painting of lines that direct traffic. The yellow lines down the middle of the road identify the lanes, while the white lines direct drivers where to park.
As the memories of the construction period start to fade, replaced by the enjoyment of wide sidewalks and smooth-surfaced streets, it is only right to thank Secon, the state Department of Transportation and anyone else involved with it for the project.
Undoubtedly, the past two years proved trying for them, as well, particularly when they cut into the roadway and discovered who knows what. They also had to keep people — not always happy customers — and vehicles moving safely through town in some of the worst weather conditions and during the busy tourist seasons.
But the sun is out (at least it was on Wednesday afternoon), and the downtown is shining like it hasn’t in at least 40 years.
Hats off to SECON and the state. Hard hats that is.