The 300 block of the Main Street Walkway in downtown Evansville has reopened to vehicle traffic after crews spent the past month and a half replacing some of the original brick with concrete.

Downtown Evansville Announces Main Street Walkway Reconstruction Project

Earlier this summer, officials with the Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District announced plans to reconstruct both the 200 block of the Walkway between 2nd and 3rd Streets along with the 300 block between 3rd and 4th Streets. For years, the street was open to pedestrian traffic (a.k.a. foot traffic) until the city decided to open it up to vehicular traffic in 2002. According to newly appointed Executive Director, Adam Trinkel, in the 20+ years since that decision was made, the amount of traffic and the weight of the vehicles took its toll on the brick-lined street to the point where bricks were cracking or missing altogether. The plan for those two blocks is to replace the brick in the driving lane of the one-way street with concrete that will be better equipped to handle the weight of the traffic.

WGBF-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Work began on the 300 block in mid-August with an estimated completion date of October 13th. With the exception of a few rainy days here and there, the weather allowed crews to stick pretty close to that schedule with work on that phase of the project wrapping up the week of October 16th. Here's what it looked like before:

Google Maps
Google Maps
loading...

And here's what it looks like now with the bricks on the left side being replaced by concrete:

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
loading...

Finally, here's a side-by-side look at the difference:

Google Maps / Townsquare Media
Google Maps / Townsquare Media
loading...

The biggest thing that stood out to me when I walked down there to take a look earlier this week was how much brighter it seemed with the concrete compared to the brick. While I do think the brick added a certain charm to the street, I totally understand the need for the reconstruction and am glad to see they were able to keep the brick on the right-hand side for parking.

The newly poured driving lane also features a little "art," for lack of a better term, near the intersection with 4th Street where crews included a half-circle near a street lamp surrounded by a circle of bricks (at least I assume that's the purpose of the circle.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
loading...

When I walked down there from our offices at the Fifth Third Bank Building on Wednesday afternoon, the block was still closed off to vehicle traffic. That changed on Thursday afternoon when Downtown Evansville announced on Facebook that cars were free to drive on it again.

Work on the 200 block is currently underway and is expected to be finished on or around November 17th, weather permitting. While the street is fenced off from vehicle traffic, just like when work was taking place on the 300 block, the sidewalks on either side are still open to foot traffic allowing you to access the stores and restaurants along that stretch.

[Source: Downtown Evansville / Downtown Evansville on Facebook]

See How Downtown Evansville Has Changed Over the Years

I find looking back on the way things used to be fascinating. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm living through the current time period. The conveniences of answering any question we have in seconds, or ordering practically anything we want or need and having it delivered to our doorstep is pretty sweet. But, there is something fun about seeing how things around us have evolved. As an Evansville native, and spending quite a bit of my time in downtown Evansville (that's where the station is located), I've always appreciated the older architecture of the buildings around the area. So, I dug into the Willard Library Archives to see how a few of those areas look now compared to then. Some have changed a little, others quite a bit, and a few don't even exist any more. Take a look.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

25 Hidden Evansville Secrets That May Blow Your Mind

An Evansville resident recently posted a question in the "I Grew Up in Evansville, Indiana" Facebook group asking other members to share any hidden or little-known facts about our city not many residents would know. The answers were wide-ranging, covering everything from our manufacturing history to our place in Civil War, to a couple of popular landmarks still standing today that were the first in the entire state of Indiana. No matter how long you've lived here, chances are there will be a few things on this list you didn't know about the city we call home.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

More From WGBF-FM