Atlanta Highway makeover coming - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Atlanta Highway makeover coming

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A chance to make a change. Residents and business leaders shared a vision for their little piece of Montgomery at a charrette for a project along Atlanta Highway.

It is clear folks who live there are ready to see the stretch from Ann Street to the Eastern Boulevard revitalized.

"I think it was great. I think it was wonderful. I was really surprised," says two residents who live near Atlanta Highway in response to the charrette turnout.

Even Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange admitted being thrilled to see so many people show up--all hoping brighter days are ahead for this part of town.

"Atlanta Highway, there's a lot of history there, but it's pretty much an eyesore right now," says Tony Bohannon.

He has lived in the Dalraida neighborhood his entire life and says while it's holding up, this main thoroughfare near his home...isn't.

He had one idea to help Atlanta Highway--bury the power lines like the city did downtown.

"It's just beautiful," says Bohannon. 

He wasn't the only one offering suggestions. Hands were raised across the room with ideas to plant trees, clean up ditches, and build sidewalks.

"They'll go back and in a few months come back with a proposed public improvement plan," says Montgomery Development Director, Chad Emerson.

Right now, city planners are only focusing on public rights-of-way--hoping improvements there prompt private businesses to spruce up their storefronts, too.

"I think everyone can see the benefit of improving the main arteries that feed into the city," says Bohannon.

City developers explained to residents that while their expectations may be high, funding can be hard to come by right now. The mayor assured them even if money is scarce, they'll make the project happen no matter how long it takes.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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