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Friday, May 17, 2024

North Front Street improvements scheduled for April

The North Front Streetscape Improvement Project will finally begin the week of April 18. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON — A downtown, long-awaited project 10 years in the making finally has a start date. The North Front Streetscape Improvement Project will replace water and sewer lines as well as enhance the area with new lighting, sidewalks and curbing. Construction crews are set to begin work the week of Apr. 18.

The impacted areas include the 200 and 300 blocks of North Front Street between Chestnut and Walnut streets. Work has been rescheduled multiple times: first due to business owner complaints about construction occurring over the holiday season — for some, the biggest time of the year for retail sales.

Work was pushed to January and postponed again due to supply chain issues and the inability to locate the proper piping.

According to a news release, the City of Wilmington and contractor T.A. Loving Company agreed upon the new start date to best accommodate current manufacturing and supply chain issues. The overall project duration is still intended to last five months, with a completion date set for September.

Crews will begin work next month on the underground sewer and utility lines, in partnership with Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) in the Grace Street intersection. Signage will properly navigate drivers and pedestrians around the area.

The next phase will involve the closure of the block between Chestnut and Grace streets. Construction will be done in phases to limit the interruption to business traffic.

“During this first phase of utility and street work, pedestrian sidewalks and access to all business will remain open and project signs will indicate this,” the release states.

Once the first block is complete, it will be re-opened to vehicles, and crews will close the block between Grace and Walnut streets.

After crews have finalized underground work on both blocks, a final coat of pavement and striping will be applied to the streets.

“Upon completion, N. Front Street between Chestnut and Walnut Streets will resemble the other streetscaping projects in downtown, especially Front Street between Market Street and Chestnut Street,” the news release states.

The first phase of the streetscape was done in 2010, also in partnership with CFPUA

The $3.5-million project was approved by voters in the $44-million transportation bond, funding 37 projects in total.

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