HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Hartsville will soon see a brand new road leading into Coker College.
Street re-paving and improvements are being made all along East College Avenue, the road Hartsville residents call the focal point of the city.
To celebrate what's already been done in the first phase of construction, the city hosted a "Hammer Time" party Friday evening to show off the upgraded street, complete with fun and games for the whole family.
Local food and drink vendors were there for attendees to enjoy, as well as sand boxes and construction toys for the kids and a live band.
"While it's an inconvenience in the short run, we are actually improving parking areas, we are making it more safe with cameras and lighting and our goal is to drive more traffic, more tourists, make more cash registers ring downtown," said Suzy Moyd, executive director for Main Street Hartsville. "Our goal is to always drive more traffic downtown and this will help accomplish that."
Not only will it be re-paved, but more beautification, new sidewalks and parallel parking spaces will line the street. It's all part of a capital project the city of Hartsville is in the midst of in downtown, using taxpayer dollars just from this district.
"College Avenue is pretty big for me," said resident Carolina Beasley. "I live in town, so my girls and I are on College Avenue a lot. So this will be great for the city of Hartsville."
All of the businesses and both parking lots will stay open throughout the rest of construction. The uneven, damaged road is something people in Hartsville have complained about for years, but won't have to anymore..
"We thought it was important to improve the entrance on College Avenue that goes into Coker College because if you go into a city like Clemson or Columbia, they embrace the fact they are a college town and this is our entrance to Coker College, which makes us a college town," Moyd said. "It's a huge part of our walkable traffic downtown."
Moyd explained it has been a long time coming that College Avenue has been improved for residents and visitors.
The city is hoping construction will be complete by September.