The yearlong renovations to downtown Bowling Green were celebrated Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting at Fountain Square Park.
This ribbon-cutting was different in that it involved a 900-foot ribbon that surrounded Fountain Square Park, allowing those in attendance to be part of the celebration.
The nearly $4 million project covered an array of tasks, including replacing sidewalks, adding new crosswalks and parking spaces, improved irrigation in the park, the squaring off of Fountain Square Park with the elimination of interior turn lanes, new bike lanes, landscaping and more.
Both Capitol and Morris alleys were also updated with new landscaping and sidewalks.
“This amazing transformation ... is quite remarkable,” said Greg Meredith, director of the city of Bowling Green’s Public Works Department. “As you look around this afternoon you will see what can happen when a community comes together with a common vision.”
The city recently approved moving forward with design work for phase two of the project, which will extend improvements beyond the downtown square.
“Now, we have to move our focus somewhere else,” Meredith said. “We are going to continue our streetscaping work throughout the city. Efforts for that are probably in the upcoming year, so stay tuned and look out for that because it’s coming.”
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said he is excited about the changes downtown.
“I think it’s the heart of our city,” Wilkerson said. “If you don’t grow, you die, and we want to continue to grow and keep going with this.
“The project was significant in many ways. When you start a project like this in a 100-year-old area, you run into some challenges. (Contractor) Scott & Murphy really stepped up.”
Mike Murphy, the chief executive of Scott & Murphy, said his family has been involved with the construction and renovation of downtown for generations.
“This park means so much to the Murphy family,” he said. “My great-grandfather built the original fountain base structure, and years later my grandfather put in the stone curbing all around the square and in Fountain Square Park.
“In 1978, I rebuilt the Fountain Square, the hardscape in it, and my son did that two years ago. Really we have four generations of Murphys that have participated in the downtown area and we are so proud of that.”
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