Published on December 28th, 2012 | by NSB Observer0
Gateway to the Historic Westside Community
Washington Street in the historic Westside Community of New Smyrna Beach will soon be a safer place for pedestrians. Next week, City and Volusia County officials will break ground on a streetscaping project that will enhance the roadway, pedestrian access, stormwater system and lighting along the .26 mile roadway from Myrtle Avenue to U.S. 1.
The ground breaking ceremony will be at 4 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, on Washington Street in front of the Alonzo “Babe” James Community Center.
“This is a community thoroughfare that is heavily used by adults and children going to and from the Babe James Community Center,” said Khalid Resheidat, assistant city manager. “This project will create continuous sidewalks and uniform lighting for people walking along the roadway. It also will serve as an attractive gateway to the Historic Westside Community.”
In addition to five-foot sidewalks and decorative lighting on both sides of the street, the project also includes complete reconstruction of the stormwater system and roadway, new curbing, landscaping, irrigation and widening of the Florida East Coast Railway right of way with new gates, signals and a controller cabinet at the crossing.
“Currently the roadway is too narrow for sidewalks, so a pedestrian walking east along Washington Street would need to walk in the roadway to cross the railroad tracks,” Resheidat said. “At project completion, there will be sidewalks on both sides for use by walkers.”
The project is in an established archaeological zone, Resheidat said. To ensure any artifacts that may be uncovered are appropriately protected and archived, an archaeologist will be on site during ground-disturbing activities.
Construction is expected to be completed in June. Incremental road closures will occur one block at time along Washington Street throughout construction, according to Resheidat.
The nearly $1.4 million cost of the project is funded by the County of Volusia and the City of New Smyrna Beach through the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency and includes design, construction within the Washington Street right of way and railway crossing improvements.
Browse our pictures below from the ground breaking ceremony: