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Local

"Gateway to Wilmington" Gets a Facelift

By Michelle Bliss

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/whqr/local-whqr-980263.mp3

08-02-11 – Extensive improvements to a 13-block tract along North Third Street in downtown Wilmington are set to begin Monday. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that along with installing new streetscape amenities, crews will also replace aging water and sewer pipes.

Officials with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority don't know the age or condition of the infrastructure, but they expect to find some clay pipes during excavation.

Mike Naklicki is the North Third Street project manager for the City of Wilmington. He says that above ground, residents will soon notice new sidewalks, streetlights, and landscaping.

"This is, really, a gateway into the city of Wilmington. Any traffic that's coming from the north side of the city into town is taking North Third Street into our downtown corridor. And, right now, a lot of the pavement and the surface aren't in great condition."

As part of the $9.4 million project, crews will also remove overhead utilities, like wires and poles, and repave North Third Street over the next year.

Work will begin at Market Street next week and progress to the end of North Third Street before the Martin Luther King Parkway. The project is funded with $5 million from a 2006 transportation bond, along with contributions from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, the City of Wilmington, and the state.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.