PORTSMOUTH -- Preserving the charming brick roads of Olde Towne is a major concern as the city begins a utilities project.
The pipes downtown are anywhere from 70 to 100 years old, so the city is working to replace more than 16 blocks of infrastructure.
"There are some roads with cobblestones. We are hoping that rather than paving the roads, they will keep the cobblestones," Civic League President Jack Erickson explained. "We don't want Olde Towne to end up looking like Suburbia."
Construction has started on the first phase, which covers Washington Street to Crawford Street and from High Street to South Street. Planning is beginning for the second phase, which includes Olde Towne neighborhood.
"Obviously we'd like to preserve the bricks and cobblestones, but there is financial undertaking," City Public Utilities Director Erin Trimyer explained.
Erickson said he is hoping to find grant money to help cover the cost.
The city is planning to schedule outreach meetings to develop the best plan.