Drivers and businesses along Martin Luther King Boulevard are gearing up for a redesign project that will close portions of the road. 

The more than $850,000 dollar project is expected to create some 40 new on-street parking spaces in between University and Peeples Avenue. 
    
Some residents tell Channel 3 they are thrilled about the slow down in traffic, while area business owners say they're concerned about the impact this construction will have on overall sales. 
 
"We're actually reviewing the possibility of closing down if we have to," said General Manager Corrie Hill, Champy's Chicken. "If it effects us that much, you know there's no point in staying open if people aren't coming." 

Manager Corrie Hill says Champy's Chicken customers will have limited access to the restaurant for at least 45 days, while crews work to repave a one-mile portion of MLK Boulevard between Georgia Avenue and Central Avenue.

Crews started preparing the roadway Monday. Officials say major construction starts next week and will happen in 4 stages. 

"It'll slow down the traffic quite a bit." said resident Mark Grivetti. " A lot of people drive 40-50 miles per hour down here, which increases the risk to hit somebody crossing the streets." 

City leaders say the project aims to cut down on speeding by taking the two lanes in each direction down to one lane and adding a center turning lane with bike lanes on each side. 

Officials say their work is dependent on the weather but they plan to wrap up in 45 days. Residents in favor of slower speed limits and on-street parking don't mind the hassle.

"This should have been done a long time ago so again the length and the time it takes to do this is not a problem at all," said Grivetti." it will make it more safe for the college kids that go here, it'll be more safe for bike riders on the street and people walking." 

While area businesses are hoping customers won't give up trying to get to them.

"We have about 50 employees so we are very concerned about them. We really hope that our regulars still come out and support us during this time, because we're going to have pretty limited access to the store," said Hill. 

Champy's Chicken will be utilizing some dinner delivery services during the construction period. 

Officials with the Mayor's office tell Channel 3, impacted businesses in the area can apply for mitigation grants during this time. The city is also partnering with River City Company to help promote businesses in that area at upcoming events.