Granville Then & Now – Church Street bridge work begins; holiday lights shine in darkness

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The Church Street Bridge replacement project was delayed in February 2020 by Washington County due to the need to relocate some utility lines near the bridge as part of the project’s right-of-way phase. A new pole would need to be installed at the southwest corner of the bridge, and the lines transferred.

The utilities were noted then as NYSEG, Verizon, Spectrum and First Light Communications. The county talked with the utilities then, each anticipating completing their work within three to four months. Since the county did not know when the utility companies would relocate their utility lines, the project was delayed for a year.

Relocation efforts began last week on Jan. 14, when work crews installed a new power line across the Mettowee River near the north end of the bridge. This will replace an old power line that used a pole at the bridge’s southeast corner. Since this work is being done, it will likely not be long before a new pole is installed at the bridge’s southwest corner, and power lines transferred. The other utilities will follow afterward with relocating their lines, and with that the right-of-way phase of the bridge project will be complete.

Granville’s Christmas holiday decorations were well received this holiday season. Homes were decorated in the village, Middle Granville and all over town. A decorating contest was held in the village, the first in several years. With the start of 2021, some began to take down their Christmas decorations. Some decorations are still up, while others have been taken down. The Granville Village DPW began taking down some decorations last week. The Christmas trees on Main Street were undecorated and removed Jan. 12, and their support poles were removed Jan. 15.

The lights in Veterans Park finished their last light show on Jan. 18. The fate of the village business decorative outline lights is not certain at this time.

Mayor Paul Labas noted he planned to ask those businesses what they want to do with their lights. The Main Street decorative lights were turned on last March as a symbol of solidarity, brightening up Granville with some light during the darkness of the early days of the pandemic. The Main Street lights themselves have received positive comment over the spring, summer and fall of last year. These lights were joined by nearly two dozen new light installations on local businesses around the Village of Granville in late October, in a way signaling the start of the holiday lighting in this area.

While the Christmas holiday season has reached its end, the pandemic continues. Since the pandemic is not over as of yet, the Main Street decorative building lights may continue to shine a bright light in the darkness of the pandemic, and brighten Granville in the process.

Erik Pekar

Town Historian