PHENIX CITY, Ala. – The Whitewater Avenue street project started Monday.
This is the area of Whitewater Avenue — formerly known as 3rd Avenue — from 13th Street to 14th Street.
Traffic can still get to Whitewater Avenue from 16th Street, but it is a one-way street for now.
Power lines will be taken down. Streetlamps will be put up in their place.
Landscaping, on-street parking and sidewalks are also in the works.
Angel Moore, Phenix City Engineer, said the construction is intended to make the area more attractive to its citizens.
“We are trying to redevelop the downtown area, with the new Troy University campus, the new hotel down there and then with the parking garage, this was going to be our next phase of that and hopefully, by doing this, we’ll bring in more businesses.” Moore said.
Moore said businesses in the area like Troy University and the Marriott Courtyard, were told about this project in advance.
“Everybody has been involved with the project,” Moore said. “We try to inform them early. Now I’m sure there’s going to be some hiccups and some bumps along the road, but we are very aware that we need to take care of all those people along that street.”
The project should take about 11 months to complete if all goes according to plan, but there have already been some setbacks.
“The thing that we’re having some issues with right now are the power boxes that actually go up underground,” said Moore. “They’re having to manufacture those and those are looking like they’re take between 12 and 16 weeks just to get those in.”
The grand plan is to develop this area and then move on to other streets in Phenix City that need improvement.
“We’re really trying to create more of that downtown feel in that area,” Moore said. “It’s starting to take shape now, slowly but surely. But some things have started going on and I think people are starting to realize hey, this may really happen.”
The Whitewater Avenue project is costing the city $2.9 million.