CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Officials with the City of Lake Charles held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday evening for the Ryan Streetscape Project.
The ceremony took place at the Historic City Hall.
"All great cities are defined and known by their downtown districts," said Mayor Randy Roach.
He continued, "and as one of the major cities in Louisiana what we celebrate today makes a strong statement about the character of our city and the belief that we have in our future and that of our children."
Friday's ceremony marks the completion of a major remake of Ryan Street from Clarence all the way down to Pine.
Mayor Roach says the project came about after Hurricane Rita when we were selected as part of a recovery effort throughout the state – the focus on the downtown area.
"And the designer that came here to work with us, when I asked him 'why did you come to Lake Charles and why downtown', he said 'well, even though the downtown was not heavily damaged by the storm, it looked like it had been heavily damaged', said Mayor Roach.
But thanks to a $90 million bond issuance, improvements were made to the streets, sidewalks, street lights, landscaping and much more.
"We have redefined downtown. There's no longer a four lane through way that goes through the heart of the city, it's now a two-lane pedestrian-friendly place to be," said Mayor Roach.
And many who attended Friday's ceremony agree.
"You can definitely tell all of the hard work that went into everything that was developed here, it's just beautiful. And I think it's going to be a great asset for Lake Charles," said Jamie Gremillion.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was also held on Ryan Street with business owners and other stakeholders to make things official.
Mayor Roach says the intersection of Mill and Ryan Street is part of the upgrade and the light at that intersection will be up and running shortly, so it's no longer a four-way stop.