JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The City of Jacksonville is hoping to make some improvements to its downtown area.
Officials hope the changes will help current businesses, as well as bring in some new ones. In a little over a week, the city will begin its $2.4 million project along New Bridge Street to help revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
The New Bridge Infrastructure and Streetscape Project will enhance a multitude of areas.
“We have so much to offer, you know, in the downtown City of Jacksonville, so we just want to give them the best look possible,” said Christy Baysden, project manager for the City of Jacksonville Public Services Division.
Some of the changes include new stormwater drains, street lamps, medians and sidewalks. Local businesses in the area add they’re excited for the revamp.
“I really think downtown areas are kind of the character of a city. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what the project looks like,” said the owner of Carolina Coast Lactation, Alicia Aviles.
Recently, the city met with some of these businesses to hear their thoughts on the plans.
“The purpose was to let the business owners know that their concerns are our concerns. And obviously, this project is going to have some inconveniences, but we want to try to reduce those as much as possible,” said Baysden.
Two business owners who spoke with WNCT said they do have some worries about the parking.
“I am anxious to see how it’s gonna work out while the construction is going on. Thankfully, we have a back lot, but we do share it with the full building,” said the owner of Velo, Elissa Faith Dyal.
“My moms with brand new babies and sometimes also having toddlers in tow to get to the front door here rather than walking four blocks after just having a baby,” said Aviles.
They are hopeful for new businesses to come to join them and bring more foot traffic along New Bridge Street.
“All the different businesses and new businesses can come here and help each other grow and make it a community,” added Dyal.
The project is expected to be fully complete in about a year and a half.
To read more about the project, click here.