By: Rosalia Fodera, WPDE
FLORENCE, SC (WPDE) — Construction cones and signs have taken over downtown Florence.
“I think downtown has come a long way and it’s something that Florence really needed,” Myranda Clark said.
“We see that footprint of downtown expanding and hopefully that coincides with expansion of investment downtown and businesses and others,” Mayor Stephen Wukela said.
The city started street and sidewalk construction on West Evans Street and will continue it to Baroody Street, and North and South Dargan Streets.
“Brick the whole width it really gives you a sense of a wider sidewalk and of course those beds are redone,” Wukela said.
With the new hotel coming and more traffic expected, a traffic circle will go at the intersection of Baroody and East Evans Streets.
“Changing in the stripping of Baroody Street to allow for some more parking there and a bike lane,” Wukela said.
A pocket park with a splash pad is coming and Clark’s niece approves of it.
“I would totally use it. We really need one in Florence because a lot of them are in like Hartsville,” Emory Clark said.
“It’ll cool the area. It’ll sound nice. It’ll attract young and that’s something we’ve heard a lot and we feel that we really need to do to have some access to young children,” Wukela said.
The roughly $2 million project is funded with a TIF (tax increment financing) so there’s no additional cost to taxpayers.
“Tax dollars from the growth downtown funding improvements downtown,” Wukela said.
Myranda Clark is excited for all the changes.
“I think downtown is a great place for it’s very kid friendly very family friendly,” Clark said.
Mayor Wukela said the projects should all be completed by spring 2019.
Mayor Wukela said the plans for Baroody Street are designed, but construction won’t start until after the hotel is built.