The intersection of Main and Ninth streets in downtown North Wilkesboro is taking on a new look with the construction of curb extensions (also called bulb-outs and bump-outs) on each corner.

The project should be completed within about a month, said Dale Shumate, the town’s public services director.

It includes low brick walls partially framing each curb extension. Curves in the walls are supposed to emulate a river. It also includes benches, planters and decorative street lamps.

North Wilkesboro-based MBI Builders, with a low bid of $264,451, was awarded the contract for the “streetscape” project.

Curb extensions are designed to improve safety by making pedestrians more visible to motorists, shorten the walking distance across streets and slow traffic, while not reducing the number of parking spaces or reduce the width of travel lanes. They also provide space for benches, landscaping and other features.

Work at the intersection of Ninth and Main also included installing a new storm water pipe and drains to reduce storm water problems for nearby businesses. Town employees have done much of the work, including related to putting utility lines underground at the intersection.

A streetscape project also is planned for enhancement of the intersection of Sixth and Main streets.

More offers sought

North Wilkesboro Town Manager Larry South said the town is again advertising for proposals for the sale of two commercial buildings at 910 and 912 Main Street, which the town purchased and partially renovated.

The town board was considering two offers, one for each building, but rejected one offer at the board’s May 2 meeting and that same week learned that the offer for the other building from someone else had been withdrawn. Both of the offers involved the production and sale of wine.

Concerning the offer that was rejected, South said the board wasn’t comfortable that the man who was interested would start working on it soon and that he might try to sell the building.

“We are willing to negotiate with someone” who is ready to get something in the buildings soon, he said.

South said the party that withdrew the other offer was concerned about the additional amount of money needed to make the other building usable.

The buildings were dilapidated when the town bought them with a goal of selling them for uses that will help generate economic activity in downtown North Wilkesboro.

An advertisement placed by the town said a request for proposals isn’t the same as a formal bidding process.

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