CLOVER -- A highly-traveled road in Clover is getting a much-needed facelift.
Construction started last week on a $242,600-plus streetscape project along Bethel/ Kings Mountain street from Town Hall to Church Street. Improvements include replacing sections of sidewalk with new concrete and brick pavers and adding street trees, other landscaping, decorative street lighting and benches. Work should conclude by December.
"The sidewalk improvements will make walking downtown easier and more pedestrian-friendly," said Town Administrator Allison Harvey. "This was a primary goal of the project."
Crews are working this week on the sidewalk in front of Carolina Baptist Church, and Pastor Keven Falde couldn't be happier.
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"We're pretty excited about getting new sidewalks," Falde said. "Before, the sidewalk was pretty rough. There were bricks falling through and a lot of cracks in it. It definitely needed to be redone."
The project also will improve the town's aesthetics, Harvey said.
"At the completion of the project, the entire town square area will be beautifully landscaped; have safe, even sidewalks; and offer the amenities, like benches and trash receptacles, that our citizens expect and deserve," Harvey said.
The project's plans are consistent with the existing streetscape on Main Street.
Town leaders say the project will benefit the economic development of Clover.
"Economic development and pedestrian improvements go hand-in-hand," Harvey said. "Streetscape enhancements are a proven strategy for attracting shoppers and compatible new shops and other businesses to support healthy commercial districts, a key component for economic development."
Traffic shouldn't be too bad during the first phase of construction.
Harvey said she doesn't expect any lane closures until the project moves to the Bethel Street later this fall.
"Because there are no parking spaces in that side, there will be closures as they maneuver their equipment to remove and then replace the sidewalk," she said. "These closures will definitely affect traffic flow at the stop light."
The project is paid for by a $194,143 grant, with the town providing the rest of the money.
Also, through a grant from Palmetto Pride, two decorative benches and three trash cans with attached ash urns will be installed.
What's a streetscape?
A streetscape is the space between the buildings on either side of a street that defines its character. The elements of a streetscape include building frontage/façade, landscaping (trees, yards, bushes, plantings), sidewalks, street paving, street furniture (benches, kiosks, trash receptacles, fountains, etc...), signs, awnings and street lighting.