Chestnut Street construction project comes at no cost to taxpaye - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chestnut Street construction project comes at no cost to taxpayers

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The sound of construction replaces the every day hustle and bustle along Chestnut Street, another sign that Chattanooga is growing. 

Crews are street scaping the section between Martin Luther King Boulevard and 8th Street to give the area more of a "plaza" feel. 

"To improve the paving of the street so it will be more pedestrian friendly, safer for pedestrians and more comfortable," Chattanooga Department of Transportation Administrator Blythe Bailey said. 

Even though sidewalks are open, businesses like The Strand are starting to feel the project's impact. 

Alicia Losardo makes it a point to mention there's no street parking when reminding clients of their appointments. 

"I had a phone call the other day, a woman wanted to come in but she's elderly, she couldn't walk down the street, so she needed to be dropped off. So unfortunately I had to give her to another salon," Losardo said. 

The convenience store a few doors down is feeling the impact too. 

Pratul Parekh said he's seen sales drop 15% in the two weeks the street outside his store has been closed. 

"If it lasts long, then we will suffer more, because once the customer is gone, they're not going to come back that easily," Parekh added. 

The project is being done at no cost to taxpayers with developers donating the $850,000 needed for the improvements. 

Despite the inconvenience now, many believe the changes will be worth it in the long run. 

"We really think it's going to bring in more clientele once it's said and done. It's going to look beautiful," Losardo said. 

The project is expected to be completed in October. 

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