Streetscaping Sped up For North Front

Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington City Council wants to set aside a million dollars in its next budget for landscaping north Front Street after the road switches to two-way traffic.

Beautification projects had originally been put on hold because the street also needs major sewer repairs.

Now, the city would like to see all three of those changes happen at once.

At a budget meeting Wednesday, the council instructed the city budget office to earmark money for the streetscaping, and urged the sewer department to make the first block of North Front ground zero for its repairs.

Mayor Bill Saffo said the council prioritized the issue after hearing complaints about the lagtime.

"We were listening to what the merchants were saying downtown, plus the citizens were saying, 'well, you told us you were going to open up this, you told us you were going to be doing these improvements at some point in time. We'd like to see these improvements done much quicker than later.'"

Saffo says he wants to make sure at least the first two-way block of Front Street, between Market and Princess, is landscaped in a timely manner, to prove the city's committment.

The city wants to start adding the second direction to North Front Street in the next few weeks.