Although the sidewalks are torn up along several blocks, Ventura officials are pleased with the progress of the $3.5-million downtown renovation project.
Contractors "are meeting their optimistic schedule of trying to get the major demolition and construction completed on each block in nine working days," design engineer Albert Carbon said Thursday.
"Everybody's positive about the way the work is going," he said. "By the end of next week, we'll have seven half blocks completed."
Crews are improving one side of each block along Main Street at a time, working from late afternoon through the night to minimize disruptions.
Workers already have completed one stretch of Main Street, building wider sidewalks, installing new street lights and planting a series of honey locust and queen palm trees.
Within three weeks, landscapers hope to plant dozens more trees along Main Street and a section of California Street, Carbon said.
"We'll see four or five blocks completed in a one-week span," he said. "I'm hoping that's going to happen around the end of April."
Sandy Smith, who owns the Rosarito Beach Cafe, said the construction has not hurt his business.
"I'm right in the thick of it," he said. "At least in the few days we haven't had a sidewalk, there's been no disruption to my business. The numbers have stayed the same."
The Ventura City Council agreed to spend $3.5 million to renovate the downtown commercial core in an effort to lure tourists and visitors to the historic neighborhood, which accounts for $50 million in sales each year.
The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-July.