Harrison Avenue streetscape project is underway
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Construction is underway on Harrison Avenue that aims to give downtown Panama City a facelift.
“We’re gonna start the first phase, which will start at Government Street and run to 4th Street,” Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said. “The first phase is going to take probably a year and a half, maybe 16 months. So it would be done by early 2023.”
Business owners along Harrison Avenue said this project has been a long time coming, especially after Hurricane Michael.
“We have needed it for a while and then, of course, we were impacted by Hurricane Michael,” Nate Taylor, operating partner for C&G Sporting Goods said. “We also have other issues going on with the water lines. It is incredibly needed I think we are kind of past the point of it needing a facelift and infrastructural changes as well.”
The project includes widening all of the sidewalks in the area making it more pedestrian-friendly.
“A more walkable downtown is what we expect to get out of this project,” Catherine Shores, a building owner on Harrison Avenue, said. “All of it has been in the works for many years even prior to Hurricane Michael. Michael just seemed to delay the project but we are really excited to have this kicking off.”
“It is just going to be really nice to widen up these sidewalks and give us more space to have events downtown to see what is my favorite downtown I have ever been to,” Jayson Kretzer, executive director of Bay Arts Alliance, said.
The streetscape project will also include planting more trees down Harrison Avenue.
Business owners say this makeover will attract more visitors to historic downtown Panama City.
In the spirit of mixing the old downtown with the new, a historic clock will be featured in the center of the new plaza located near the intersection of 4th Street and Harrison Avenue.
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