Old Cloverdale improvement project nears end

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Sections of Old Cloverdale are getting a facelift, but the process has been painful for some businesses there.  WSFA 12 News has learned that process is soon coming to an end.

City crews are working on improvements to the area - centered on the intersection of Graham Street and Cloverdale Road.   They're widening sidewalks and planting trees in an effort to make the area more attractive and pedestrian friendly.  The project should be completed by the first week of July.

For businesses in the neighborhood, including one restaurant that's about to open, that date can't come soon enough.

"It's definitely not ideal, but it is something that's very short-term," said Melissa Wall, a consultant.

The managers at Roux, which specializes in New Orleans-style cuisine, expect their opening to be a success despite what's going on outside.

"It's something where we've priced to be able to have you come in the doors, a couple of times a week, enjoy your family, enjoy your neighborhood," Wall said.

"As soon as people find out about our cuisine, I'm sure they'll be coming in the door," said Lee Ussery, the general manager for the restaurant.

The project has been delayed by weather and other factors.  City leaders say once the construction is done, it will be well worth the wait.

"It's going to feel like you're in the center of a little town area or a commercial district," said Chad Emerson, Director of Development for the City of Montgomery.    "It's really going to have this nice, walkable pedestrian-safe, setting."

'It's been disruptive, but most of our merchants have weathered well with it, and are very supportive of it," said Oliver Smyth, a board member for Historic Southview, Inc., a key supporter of the project.  "And so, a little pain is going to go a long way toward getting to the other end."

And all of the business in the area are open, and there's actually plenty of parking once you make it through. The project is estimated cost a half million dollars.  It's being paid for by federal stimulus funds.

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