ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Transportation plans to do a major drainage project along King Street, or the mains road into downtown St. Augustine. Before the state puts the road back together, the city sees it as an opportune time to revamp it.
Flagler College, City Hall, the Casa Monica hotel and smaller businesses, such as Whetstone Chocolates, sits on King Street off US-1.
Bruce Maguire and his wife own Whetstone Chocolates. A few years ago, he told First Coast News he felt the city needed to give King Street more attention, especially the part west of Riberia.
"I think it's about time," Maguire said. "They've been talking about it for about 10 years."
Rueben Franklin is the city's Mobility Program Manager. He said FDOT plans to do a major drainage project along King Street, from Malaga Street to the bayfront.
Before the state puts the road back together, the city sees it as an opportune time to revamp King Street with a streetscape project, according to Franklin.
Maguire said he knows what he'd like to see included in the project: "First, I would like to see the telephone poles gone and all the power poles. They are a detriment to the visual beauty potential here."
Underground utility lines is one thing the city will consider for the streetscape project, Franklin said. He said the project may also include better streetlights, possibly narrower car lanes which would provide more space for bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks.
Maguire says don't forget about greenspace.
"If all you have is concrete and pavement, it doesn't really add a lot ot the character," Maguire commented, "so we need more greenery."
Parts of King Street still floods when it rains. Franklin said the state's new drainage project is expected to help alleviate flooding on the road.
Franklin says there is no word about how much the city is going to or willing to spend on the streetscape project. He said it won't start for another five years. However, the city still plans to have public forums this year to get input from the community.
"The real issue is this is one of the entry corridors to the city, so you want it to set the stage, set the personality and establish that emotion as you come in," Maguire said.