CLEARWATER — The City of Clearwater is inviting the public to an informational meeting February 8 to discuss the progress on the Cleveland Streetscape Phase III construction project.
“This is a big capital improvement project. It’s about $12 million and it’s been a long time coming for this community,” said Amanda Thompson, Director of the Clearwater Community Redevelopment Agency.
The city is working on making major improvements to their downtown corridor along Cleveland Street from Missouri Avenue east to San Remo Avenue and on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard from Cleveland Street southeast to Court Street.
“This project is really important to the community. It was delayed for several years,” said Thompson.
Currently crews are putting in underground utilities. Then they’ll move on to the rest of the improvements including:
- new sidewalks
- bike lanes
- safer intersections and turn lanes
- the reconfiguration of on-street parking
“Towards the end of it there will be festival core which is a new public space where we’ll be able to host farmer’s markets and artists and all kinds of community gatherings,” said Thompson.
Leaders say this project will not only transfer downtown and make it safer and more pedestrian-friendly, but it’s also something that the community has needed for a long time.
“It’s critical for 2 reasons. The most important one is it’s going to slow traffic down. So for people who are walking and cycling along Cleveland Street, they’re going to have a much safer experience and even drivers because you don’t have to worry about someone turning left in front of you,” said Thompson.
The city says the project will also have a big environmental impact, adding lots of new trees and plants native to Florida that will serve a purpose.
“There’s going to be large planting areas that will capture and treat rainwater and stormwater coming off the road,” said Thompson.
The public information meeting is on February 8 at 6 p.m. at the Hacienda Corralejo Mexican Kitchen, 1238 Cleveland Street, Clearwater.
“You can come out to this community meeting, you can meet the actual construction staff. So if you want to know 'where does the concrete come from' or 'how deep did that pipe go,' they can answer all those kinds of questions,” said Thompson.
The project should be completed around January or February of 2023.