Avenida del Mar, the city's main downtown shopping street, will start out the New Year with a badly needed face lift. On Thursday, construction crews will begin a six-month project to make the avenue more attractive to shoppers and "to provide the impetus for property owners to do the same with their facades," said Greg Hulsizer, assistant to the city manager.
"A major concern from the city's standpoint is that (Avenida del Mar) is a pleasant, accessible downtown shopping area," Hulsizer said. "The street has deteriorated as well as the sidewalk, and there are several vacant stores."
The first phase of the project will cost about $1.3 million. It provides for a total reconstruction of the avenue and sidewalks, including installation of new storm drains and a conduit for electrical wiring, and the realignment of the intersections at Ola Vista and Calle Seville. The second phase includes new landscaping, benches and light standards, Hulsizer said, and will cost $400,000 to $500,000.
All businesses on the avenue will remain open during the reconstruction, and at least two lanes of traffic will be kept open at all times, Hulsizer said.