NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — A new project in New Smyrna Beach aims to address flooding and pedestrian safety concerns. The city hosted a public forum, inviting the public to weigh in on the future of Washington Street.
The city said the goal is to improve the road, starting with striping and repaving it. They also want to enhance safety in the area by adding sidewalks and intersections. But while construction happens there will be impact.
“I think once the motorists go through here they’ll get acclimated to it. We’re asking people to reduce speed, there will be road closures temporary and for an extended period of time,” said Kyle Fegley, Engineer for the City of New Smyrna Beach.
They also hope to improve drainage in the area, add a new water main, and move some overhead utility power cords underground.
“The sidewalks need help. [The area] needs better curb appeal, it just needs to clean it up. Beautifying, it could really use it,” said Kathy Blackman, the owner of non-profit Sophie's Circle which is just a block away from Washington Street.
Even with the potential for added traffic during construction, in the long run Blackman believes it’s worth it, especially for her neighborhood.
“It’s nice if you can go off the beaten path and it’s still attractive. I think that says a lot about a city,” said Blackman.
Fegley says they hope to start construction on this project next year. He’s expects construction to take 18 months and finish up by fall 2025.