Sidewalks are coming up and new concrete is going down creating a fresh look for the $1.3 million streetscape project in downtown Wetumpka.
A walk through town will take pedestrians on a detour as work is underway. Sidewalks along Main, Bridge and Court streets are in various stages of work as the first phase of the four-phase project is finally underway. There will be freshly paved streets for drivers too.
“It’s been six years and a lot of work,” Mayor Jerry Willis said. “It will be great.”
To help with the congestion, the project is being completed in four phases.
• Phase 1, the south side of East Bridge and Court streets nearest the Bibb Graves Bridge
• Phase 2, East Bridge and Court streets farther to the east
• Phase 3, Company and North Hill streets
• Phase 4, the north side of East Bridge Street
Parts of Commerce, Hill, Orline and Company streets will get new asphalt or resurfaced. The sidewalks will be made compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. Sidewalks will also include brick pavers in areas, landscaping all around and improved drainage.
The $1.3 million project is funded through grants with the Alabama Department of Transportation. The 80/20 grant requires $238,000 in matching funds from the city.
Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce director Shellie Whitfiled said downtown business owners are hopeful the new look will bring even more business downtown.
“It’s going awesome,” Whitfield said. “I can’t wait till it’s done. Our downtown will be stunning.”
To help create parking for customers while things are being renovated, officials are asking business owners and their employees to park off the street leaving the limited parking during the project for customers. When work is done, there will be about the same number of parking places. It is suggested to park in the public lots in front of Coaches Corner, behind the Elmore County Museum and at the Elmore County Courthouse.
“Hopefully the merchants and their employees will work with us on the parking,” Willis said. “We can get through this. We don’t want the businesses hurt. We’re going to take it a day at a time.”