New buildings are coming out of the ground around downtown Gainesville, but there are also plenty of street-level — and even underground — improvements in full swing.
Gainesville has embarked on a $2.9 million effort to spruce up and beautify portions of Bradford, Washington, Green and Spring streets near the square.
The streetscaping project will mean new trees, decorative streetlights, and benches and brick accents along sidewalks in some areas, said Matt Tarver, Gainesville’s deputy director of engineering and transportation.
The work also involves improvements to water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, as well as putting overhead utility lines underground, Tarver said.
The project, which is expected to be finished by the end of 2021, is being financed by the city’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VII and Department of Water Resources budget.
The work, which began last year, has meant some inconvenience for downtown travelers — by car or foot.
Most recently, Bradford Street between Washington and Academy streets has been closed overnight weekdays for work taking place along that stretch.
As part of the streetscaping, sidewalks also will need to be closed — such as a section currently on Bradford.
“However, we will coordinate with owners to maintain access to their businesses,” Tarver said.
Travel around the square can otherwise be tricky, with several projects being developed in different locations, including a new parking deck off Bradford, Gainesville Renaissance off Spring and The National between Green and E.E. Butler Parkway.