Transformative project set to begin on roadway in downtown Kinston

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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - A major roadway in the center of Kinston is getting a makeover. Members of the community celebrated the start of the Queen Street project with a ribbon cutting and ground breaking ceremony Tuesday.

In just a few months a stretch of Queen Street will almost be unrecognizable with new landscaping, lanes and parking spaces. The changes are part of the Queen Street Streetscape Project which has been in the planning stages for about four years, city officials said.

Construction on the $3 million project is slated to start as early as next week.

"I think the aesthetic overall is going to be really impactful for those coming to downtown Kinston," Kinston Planning Director Adam Short said.

The six months of planned construction could affect local businesses as crews prepare to tear up the road.

One those businesses near the courthouse is Mickey's Barber Shop. The owner, Miguel Cazares said he doesn't think a few months of construction will stop his customers.

"It might be a little slower but I believe it will be alright," Cazares said.

In the long run, the finished streetscape could help attract new clients, Cazares said.

"You know people tend to go to places that look updated so I think it will bring people in," he said.

After the construction on the streetscape is finished, crews with the NCDOT will pave the roadway. City officials said they hope to have everything completed by the end of August.