Over the newly paved blacktop of 29th Street, city officials, local business owners and mangers all gathered to commemorate the completion of Phase I of the 29th Street infrastructure project.
Stringing a yellow ribbon across the intersection at 29th and Main Streets, approximately a dozen people stood with scissors and snipped a portion of the ribbon.
“It has really improved the corridor and neighborhood between Main and Columbus,” said Mayor Kevin Smith. “It is a very good looking project.”
The city of Anderson spent $2.3 million from a sanitary district bond on the improvements that included separation of storm and sanitary sewers, new curbs, sidewalks and street paving. Phase I encompassed 29th Street between Columbus Avenue and Meridian Street and took seven months to complete.
Local business owners said they were excited to have the newly paved roads. “I think this is a tremendous asset to the community,” said Larry Smith, owner of Farmers Insurance Agency located at 29th Street and Columbus Avenue. “It’s definitely made the area more appealing. It was worth the wait and months of construction.”
Sue Tellman, owner of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken located at 20 E. 29th St. said she hopes to see business pick back up after the construction.
“It was the first time in 16 years we had a decline in business,” said Tellman. “We are hopeful the customers will realize we are open and that they have not decided to take their business elsewhere.”
Although Tellman said there was a drop in business, she also said the new streets were “very pretty.”
Yvonne Hankla, owner’s daughter of Art’s Varsity Pizza located at the corner of 29th and Main streets, said she is also happy to have the construction over with.
“The streets are really nice,” she said. “It is a lot better to travel down. We did lose a lot of business. It was hard getting around the construction. We’re really ready for business to come back to us.”
According to Smith, bids for Phase II of the project were awarded Tuesday evening to Culy Excavation of Winchester and Instituform Pipeline Company. Phase II represents a $1.59 million investment and continues the project from Meridian Street to Madison Avenue.
Michael Spyers, city civil engineer, said road construction for Phase II is expected to begin in the next 30 days.
“This is a giant step for the city of Anderson today,” said Nick Vores, street commissioner. “It’s a giant step for the storm water separation and has produced a new street and sidewalks. We are looking forward to the future. There is more to come.”
Gary Hoffman, owner of Hoffman Chiropractic located at 12 W. 29th St. said he is very excited about the new roads. Hoffman’s business will be in Phase II of the project.
“It’s nice and even quieter because it’s so smooth,” he said. “It really helps the improvement of our neighborhood. Construction will be a pain, but we’re excited.”