STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – After several delays, the Blue Mile in Statesboro is getting a much-needed facelift, but the city is asking for the public’s feedback.
A new streetscape project is working to get more people near Georgia Southern’s campus into downtown Statesboro.
On South Main Street from Tillman Road to the intersection of Fair Road, better known as the Blue Mile, is where the city of Statesboro is looking to make some improvements starting with its drainage system.
“If you’ve lived here you’d know during a heavy rainfall that area floods out into the roadway so that will be improved drastically,” Director of Public Works and Engineering, John Washington said.
The city and the Blue Mile Foundation have been working on the streetscape project since 2014 to make the Blue Mile pedestrian-friendly and beautify the area.
“It’s going to present a better image,” Washington said.
The landscaping will look different with new widened sidewalks, bus shelters, and small parks. The sidewalks will include colored stamped concrete crosswalks. Decorative street lighting and signage will also be added.
Jeremy Hart with EMC Engineering said the Blue Mile looks like an eyesore as it stands now.
“It’s going to be very inviting to the public. It has a lot of landscaping and just access ways for pedestrians to move around and what not,” Hart said.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is helping out with a $1.1 million grant. The rest of the money will come from the city’s TSPLOST fund and the Public Utilities Department. The estimated price tag is $3.8 million.
Several residents who attended Thursday’s public input meeting said they’re excited to see life brought back to the Blue Mile.
“It’s still kind of hard to visualize just from the drawings. You can’t tell everything, but I like where they’re going with it,” Statesboro resident, Wesley O’Quinn said.
“We see this not just as economic revitalization but also something that’s part and parcel to an effort to do neighborhood revitalization,” Statesboro resident, Marcus Toole said.
The project is expected to start this summer and will be finished by Fall 2022.
Community feedback can be provided to the city of Statesboro here.