AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - It has been two years in the making and now the plan to Renew Opelika Road is starting to take shape.
Contractors have broken ground on the section of Opelika Road between Gay and Ross Streets, removing curbs gutters and sidewalks.
"Our intention is to really improve the looks of the area, certainly an area that needed our attention for some time now and now we have finally got the opportunity to do that," explains Public Works Director, Jeff Ramsey.
Last month, city council approved a $1.5 million dollar contract with D & J Enterprises for Phase I.
Over the years this stretch has been subject to vacant buildings, aged infrastructure and broken sidewalks.
The three lane roadway is now being shifted to two, diverting traffic heading west to the middle lane.
Traffic may be a pain now, but in coming months residents will begin to see some much need changes to Opelika Road including new sidewalks, and a median to give it an updated feel.
"We're going to put in some decorative crosswalks. Obviously, you can't drive over those as they are being constructed, so they'll be some traffic disruptions throughout this project," says Ramsey.
Phase I is expected to take at least six months to complete, but will be finished before the next football season.
The Renew Opelika Road project is a multi-phase project that will span from Gay Street to the city limits.
"There are going to be some growing pains as always with construction, but once we through I think everybody will be happy with what we come up with," explains Ramsey.