BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — The Burlington City Council took a look at proposed changes to downtown for a streetscape project during a work session meeting on Monday night. The current streetscape design is more than two decades old. 

 “The idea is to enhance the pedestrian experience and make it more friendly for people to dine outside and enjoy our beautiful downtown as it is, and to make it safer for people to do so,” said Erin Nettles, downtown manager with the City of Burlington & Burlington Downtown Corporation.


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The streetscape project is a part of the City of Burlington’s planned project to improve water and sewer infrastructure in downtown.

“We thought, while we were tearing up the ground to do the water and sewer replacement, why not? Instead of patching it back together, make it brand new and beautiful …and hopefully last for generations,” said Nettles.

At the work session, city council will review public input, a map for the project and proposed changes, like returning Main Street to a two-way traffic flow from Front Street to Maple Street, adding a roundabout at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Worth Street, sidewalk extensions and raising intersections to slow traffic.

“What we’re going to get is a downtown that’s going to look totally new. It’s going to have new amenities that are going to really help our businesses that are down here, are going to help attract new businesses, are going to make this an even more pedestrian-friendly downtown is the goal,” said Morgan Lasater, community engagement director with City of Burlington.

City leaders have been planning this project for several years and received funding in 2022.

“$10 million will go to the water and sewer infrastructure, and then we were able to actually apply and get about a half-a-million-dollar grant for the project. And then our council has also committed to putting in dollars to do the streetscape project as well,” said Lasater.

The proposed changes are optional and could possibly change. The city is still reviewing input from community members and says it has also heard from downtown business owners.

“We did get a fair amount of feedback back. We have found that the majority of people seem to support the ideas and the changes coming into downtown, especially with the raised intersections and the roundabout, which I think is exciting,” said Nettles.

As the City of Burlington works through the design and approval processes, they expect construction of the downtown streetscape project to begin in the late summer or early fall of 2024, around the same time they plan to begin the construction project for the Paramount Theater.