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Main Street is open, let’s go shopping

It took almost eight months, but the day has finally arrived. Washington’s Main Street is open and the collective sigh of relief that blew all the way east to Havens Gardens and west to Washington Harbor is from the downtown merchants who are anxious to see you.

Our late mayor Mac Hodges’ vision, one that started on a family walk through downtown New Bern almost five years ago, has finally been realized.

The three block stretch of Main Street from Market to Gladden is gorgeous. It turned out better than expected, perhaps, if that’s possible.

Washingtonians made a summer hobby out of watching and reporting progress as the B.E. Singleton and Sons crew dug up the old pavement, replaced the underground infrastructure and began the resurfacing. It’s a once in a lifetime experience (hopefully) to see a street exposed 10 feet or more below ground and watch the rusted relics of past public works projects get replaced by brand new versions that will serve our growing city well into our children and grandchildren’s lives.

Now it’s time to head back downtown. However, remember to look both ways before crossing the street. They are open now, you know. Admire the wider sidewalks and also remember that every brick in town doesn’t have to be red. Stop and rest on the brand new benches while admiring the new planters.

Most of all, go spend your money with our downtown business owners. They’ve gone well beyond Job’s patience while waiting for you to return. Their stores are clean and safe with masks required and hand sanitizer readily available.

You’ll probably see a new shop or two as well. Several forward looking owners opened during the streetscape project knowing that business would be better right about now.

Shop local. We’ll see you downtown.