In spite of wet weather that moved through the Clearwater area last Friday, downtown supporters celebrated the completion of the first block of the Cleveland Street Streetscape March 16. The Downtown Development Board offered free water and chocolate bars with coupons for downtown restaurants, while nearby businesses offered free coffee and other refreshments. Spirits were undampened, even as attendees huddled beneath the Royalty Theatre awning. The crowd cheered as city officials and construction representatives offered speeches and cut the ribbon.
The newly completed block will soon be open to traffic, as crews plan to open the Ft. Harrison Avenue intersection March 26. The distinctive terra cotta-colored concrete and decorative amenities will be complete at that intersection by next week. Crews are also adding striping to the street and parking spaces along this block of Cleveland Street. While parking will be free during construction, parking meters will be added to the on-street spaces when the entire project is complete.
The storm drain and infrastructure work in the intersection of Garden Avenue is also expected to be complete March 26. Crews are completing details, installing asphalt, and plan to open the road to north and southbound traffic by next Monday. Streetscape work on the block between Ft. Harrison and Garden avenues will soon be underway.
Meanwhile, storm drain work continues to the east, and sidewalk closures remain in effect on the north side of Cleveland Street from the Garden Avenue intersection to the U.S. Post Office.
Patrons may take advantage of two hours of free parking in the Garden Avenue Garage, or additional parking along Osceola Avenue between the Main Library and Cleveland Street. For further updates on construction, check out the city's website at www.myclearwater.com/downtown, or call the Streetscape construction office at 462 6126.
The next Hard Hat meeting is 8 a.m., Thursday, March. 29, at Constant Cravings, 516 Cleveland St. Free coffee will be available, and officials will be on hand to answer the public's questions regarding the project.