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Demolition phase underway for Greenville 10th Street Connector

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

The demolition phase for Greenville's 10th Street Connector is underway and moving ahead of schedule.

It's a plan that's been in the works for close to a decade. The multi-million dollar project will widen Farmville Boulevard and create a direct route from ECU to Vidant Medical Center.

The process of relocating is already beginning.

"With any change, any new opportunity it is bittersweet because you've got a root. You've been rooted in a location and the memories are there," said Mandi Stewart, Executive Director of "Hope of Glory Ministries."

The non-profit has been a prominent part of West 10th Street for more than a decade. They're dedicated to helping people, like William Jones, get back on their feet.

"My life has changed around. I started going to church, started going to AA meetings, and put god in my life," said Jones.

But in just a few weeks Hope of Glory will be doing a little rebuilding of their own. They're moving to a new location on the corner of Arlington and Evans.

"A lot of the road blocks we see are people not having transportation," said Stewart.

It's just one of 193 businesses and homes that have to move because of the 10th Street Connector.

Last year, 9 on your side talked with people in the area who said it was a tough pill to swallow.

"Home means everything to me. It does. It does. It really means everything to me. I guess that's why I stay so worried about it," said Ida Williams, who had lived at her Farmville Boulevard home for 40 years.

But as the demolition phase moves forward, a DOT spokesperson says the majority of people have been on board. They've reached settlements with 137 of the property owners. Appraisers estimated a fair market value for those owners, who are also eligible for relocation benefits.

"Everybody is just trying to take time to process what that looks like and to make the best effort to make the best change... and change is always good there's just always a transition period that you have to overcome and walk through patiently and diligently," said Stewart.

Construction won't begin on the project until the end of next year, but the DOT says they've already demolished almost a dozen homes. They tell 9 on your side the goal is to have everyone out by October.

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