Work continues on several downtown construction projects - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Work continues on several downtown construction projects

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

After more than a year of non-stop work crews are finally starting to see the light at the end of the Ryan Streetscape Project. The work now centers between Division and Mill Streets. So far, residents like what they're seeing.

"Honestly, I haven't been down here in months but from what I've seen today it looks fabulous. I think it is going to bring a whole lot more people downtown," said Lori Hutchens, Lake Charles resident.

This leg of the project should wrap up within three weeks then workers head south near Clarence Street near the almost complete Transit Center.

"We hope that finishing up the Ryan Streetscape that surrounds that particular corner that will help move them so that they can actually open that facility hopefully by the end of the year," explained Lori Marinovich, Lake Charles Downtown Development Director.

Crews will then resume work on the last portion of the Streetscape from Mill to Pine Street and in front of the new City Court building. Marinovich said the Streetscape is also expected to wrap up before 2013.

Dirt is also moving at the Gill Street Extension which will allow traffic to flow from Lakeshore Drive to Bord du Lac Drive. The Gill Street Extension is a major component in the entire process. Not only serving as a connector from historic downtown to the lakefront but city officials hope it will also facilitate and encourage commercial development. 

"With the Gill Street Project we have put in things like a lift station, water line loop, the sewer and drainage has all been reworked in that area so that it can support the development of the lakefront there," said Marinovich.

Gill Street should be finished by April or May of next year.

If you have passed by the new Millennium Park you can't miss the first of a couple buildings starting to pop up at that site. The first will serve as a pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area. The second will serve the splash park area.

Marinovich said all deadlines are dependent on the weather.

Meanwhile also at Tuesday night's Downtown Development meeting board members formed a committee to discuss guidelines for vendors at North I-10 Beach. Officials said they've been approached by not only concession type operations but people wanting to rent jet skis and kayaks.

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