Big plans in store for Opelika Road

Big plans in store for Opelika Road

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OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -

The city of Auburn is planning a major overhaul for Opelika Road, the main corridor between Auburn and Opelika.

After three public workshops and great internal work by the city, the Auburn Planning Department is in the final stages of the plan to renew Opelika road.

"We're working right now on the final edits of the plan document with our consultant parties design workshop. We should have a final plan here in hand by the end of February," explains Forrest Cotten, planning director for the City of Auburn. 

After the plan is complete, the next step will be to share it with the oversight subcommittee, comprised of various members of the community and the City Council.

"Then we'll actually have a work session with the Planning Commission. We'll present the plan to them and discuss implementation," says Cotten.

Streetscape improvements are going to be a big component of the plan and the City Council's commitment of $5 million in five years will be spent on the dressing up of the medians and right of ways in particular.

"The hope it to start spending some of that money quickly and wisely to get some energy going to let the community know we're very serious and very committed to the effort and then as it continues on there may be an opportunity a few years down the road for some additional funding," explains Cotten.

When you tackle a project of this size that could take anywhere from 10 to 20 years and could cost up to $20 million, the public's input is essential.

"The survey tool is still open and available for comment and we certainly incorporated the comments we've gotten to date in the plan," says Cotten.

There are also opportunities for façade improvements, not only for new businesses, but for existing ones as well to enhance their exterior with the help of the city.

For more information on the survey tool and how you can express your own input for the plan, visit the City of Auburn's website at www.auburnalabama.org.

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