HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The city of Hartsville began repaving and improving College Avenue at Fifth Street, which is something the city has wanted to do the past five years.
Hartsville City Manager Natalie Zeigler said the No. 1 complaint she has heard from residents has been College Avenue.
"The city took out a bond to do a lot of capital projects. We've added some stoplights around town. We've done beautification in front of our new hotels. This is part of that overall project, so it's funded with taxpayer dollars just from this district," said Zeigler.
Business owners along the street said the condition of the road has been terrible and they hope this new project will bring in more money and people to Hartsville.
The city took over College Avenue from the state about a year ago. Now, they can turn it into exactly what they want.
Cal Wheeler has owned Vintage Wine and Beer Boutique for the past eight years and said this improvement has been a long time coming.
"For one, it makes downtown look better and more appealing. It will certainly make it more accessible to local people shopping and people from out of town who will be impressed and tell their friends to come and see what Hartsville has got going on," said Wheeler.
The city manager said not only will the street be repaved, but lights will be strung with a welcome sign, parallel parking spaces will line the street, new sidewalks will be put in and more overall beautification will be done.
"So, we're digging out sub layers here because there are bricks underneath the pavement. All of that is coming out and we'll replace water and sewer lines, since we will have the street open. Hopefully we won't have to reopen the street for many more years," Zeigler said.
Their hope is the block leading right into Coker College will be a focal point of the city where they can hold concerts and events.
"I think as downtown business owners, this can only improve our business and draw people here," Wheeler said.
Both parking lots will be accessible and all businesses will stay open throughout construction up until mid-September. The first phase is expected to be complete by the middle of May.
To celebrate, the city is hosting a celebration called the 'Hammer Time' party on May 13 for the whole family to come out and see the street.