August 25th is the new target completion date for the $1M Downtown Manchester Square renovation project according to the city’s project manager Terry Dendy. The project, which has been the source of angst for merchants and citizens alike, suffered a 60 day delay due to poor soil found during the demolition of the existing streets. The soil, which was deemed unsuitable to support the renovated street, was tested by the Tennessee Department of Transportation(TDOT) and excavated from the downtown area. After digging down to find acceptable quality soil, rock and gravel were backfilled in to support the roadway. TDOT approved a project extension from the original July 1 completion date as a result of the additional work. Dendy said that the top coating of asphalt is complete, and the contractor, Rick Brindley, expects no problems in meeting the new deadline. The project, designed to beautify the historic square, has completed the new sidewalks and street lighting along with the renovation of all the utilities to underground service lines. Final detail touch ups, along with the final paving, landscaping and cleanup are the remaining steps to completion. Dendy told WMSR News that the local merchants are working together to plan landscaping improvements going forward. Downtown merchant Wendell Cothran, of The Sportsman’s Corner, hopes that the renovations will draw more consumer traffic back to the square. Cothran is also excited about aesthetic improvements. “It is really gonna look tremendous” said Cothran. Manchester city engineer Scott St.John, along with TDOT Project personnel and TDOT engineers have overseen the construction which was funded through a TDOT grant with additional funding from the Surface Transportation Program and the City of Manchester Tourism Committee.