Linden beautification project moves slowly along

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

Linden residents should start seeing some significant changes in the landscape of the sidewalks downtown. A slow-moving beatification project is getting closer to completion — two months late.

Linden city administrator Cheryl Hall told city council members on Tuesday the work is expected done by the end of February.

The sidewalks along U.S. Highway 43 in Linden’s downtown area have been under construction for several weeks, a project funded by a $300,000 transportation grant.

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The first phase of the project included an overhaul of the drainage system along the street. Several sidewalks that line businesses were either upgraded with wheelchair-accessible ramps or totally constructed.

The next phase involves landscaping additions to the downtown area.

“They have ordered the planters, and they should be ready by February,” Hall said.

Scheduled to be complete by December, the project began with a sluggish start in the construction and drainage improvement phase. Hall said the holidays and poor weather conditions have also attributed to the delays.

Once the sidewalk renovations are complete, 150 crepe myrtles will be planted along the city entrances.

“Wheelchair-accessible ramps will be created where needed, or existing ones repaired, and wrought-iron hanging baskets and planters will be added along the sidewalks,” said Linden’s mayor Mitzi Gates.

Gates said the area directly in front of Papa’s Foods has the most noticeable change.

“I want us to look for more ways to find opportunities to make sure people who come through Linden on these well-traveled highways get the picture of what Linden really is,” she said.

“We want our city to look as charming as the people really are. It does matter, especially when trying to attract new business growth. No matter where an industry locates in our county, it benefits Linden.”