The Angier-Driver Streetscaping Project is well under way and not even the cold, wet weather can interfere.
On a rainy Monday morning, construction workers Carlton Day and Steve Clayton worked on installing telephone lines at the intersection of Angier Avenue and Driver Street in downtown Durham.
Their work is part of a nearly $4 million project to revitalize the area that includes replacing utility lines, streetlights and sidewalks. Since the project broke ground in May, the power poles and gas lines have already been replaced and several more steps of the project are in progress.
Day said his construction crew has been installing the telephone lines for nearly two weeks.
According to the project’s concept plan, the goal of the streetscaping is to establish a more positive image for the Angier-Driver district. Doing this will spur economic development and attract new businesses to the area, the plan says.
Roy Alston, 76, owner of Triangle Trophy Center on Angier Avenue, said he welcomes improvements to the area.
He said the neighborhood has already changed a lot since he moved to town in 1958, especially in the last 15 years.
“Durham doesn’t look nothing like it did,” he said. “I’m pretty satisfied with the way it looks now.”
But some business owners think the project should focus on a broader area.
Steven Clayton owns L&D Grocery & Grill on Angier Avenue just a few blocks away from the Driver Street intersection. He said the construction work won’t reach his end of the street.
Clayton said he believes that not extending the renovations will be a problem for the new food bank that will open next door to L&D as well as many other businesses.
“They should bring the sidewalks all the way down here to Hoover Street,” he said.
Clayton said he doesn’t agree with the area the city chose for the renovations because there are more businesses on the end of the street where his store is located than at the Angier-Driver intersection.
“This has been here just as long as those,” he said. “It needs to be revitalized to bring in shops. Businesses who need help — the town won’t help them.”
City officials did not respond to repeated calls for comment on the project.
Story edited by: Ashton Sommerville
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