Get out your party hat: Downtown Lawrence is getting a new waterline.
Merchants and city officials alike are hoping that's how area shoppers respond to several months worth of downtown waterline construction scheduled for this spring and summer.
To prime the party pump, officials with Downtown Lawrence Inc. confirmed Wednesday that they're making preparations for what they hope will become the annual "Splash on Mass" event.
"We think it will be a good way to remind people that we'll be open during this whole construction project," said Maria Martin, executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. "Plus we want people to view this project as something to celebrate instead of feeling like it is a deterrent. It is a big project, a big improvement for the whole community."
Construction crews are expected to begin replacing an aging waterline along Sixth Street from Tennessee to Massachusetts streets sometime in April. That project is expected to take about 45 working days to complete.
After that project is completed, crews will begin a 35-day project to replace a waterline from Sixth to Seventh streets.
Martin said the "Splash on Mass" event would feature a variety of family-oriented events and entertainment, but details are still being worked out. A date for the event hasn't been set yet, either.
Mayor Mike Rundle said he thought the event was a good idea. Rundle, though, said the city needs to make sure it does its part by making sure signs throughout the project clearly tell people easy ways to get to Massachusetts Street.
"The critical need is to do everything we can to help people get to Mass.," Rundle said.