EDEN, N.C. (WGHP) —The city is coming to a close on a streetscape project that’s been underway for nearly a year in its downtown, making much-needed improvements to the business district that sits on Monroe Street.

“It’s a little rough because we don’t have any parking for our businesses. Nobody knows where to park to be able to come to it,” said Gracie Willoughby, Halo Salt & Yoga employee.

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Businesses on Monroe Street in uptown Eden are welcoming the upgrades to their small business district.

After nearly one year, the streetscape project is nearly complete with new wheelchair access, newly replaced signage, sidewalks and gutters, improved drainage, and a freshly paved road.

Talks about the project began in the spring of 2021, concerning improvements needed for Monroe Street.

“Got input from the merchants and property owners around here to see what the best possible improvements we could make to the street would be, and now we’re finally getting to see,” said Neville Hall, Mayor of Eden.

City leaders know work being done for the project has impacted businesses sitting on Monroe Street.

 Several businesses had to alter store hours opening at 4 p.m. once paving was complete on the street.

Gracie Willoughby lives in uptown Eden and walks to work at Halo Salt & Yoga each day said despite the construction she believes it will help draw more people to their business district.

“It’s helped a lot. There’s not holes in it, and boards on the sidewalk. So, it’s a lot better,” said Willoughby.

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It’s been around 20 years since Monroe Street has been paved and seen improvements, and the streetscape project is a part of the city’s plans for revitalization of the uptown area.

“We’re considering expanding or creating and expanding the social district within this uptown area,” Hall said.  “I think having safe sidewalks for people to walk to from one business to the next will be a great asset.”

The paving of Monroe Street was completed today, and the street is now open to traffic. the city will have the lines painted within the next few days. the total cost of the project is around $205,000.