Construction begins this week on the Market Square Project in Roanoke. While it will mean big changes downtown, it will impact traffic and parking.
Crews will begin setting up fences here in the Market Square on Thursday, preparing for construction.
The $1.1 million dollar project will last for three months, but will make downtown more friendly to walkers.
The portion of Market Street that runs through the Square will be closed for about five weeks.
Parking spaces on Market Street past the Square down to Church Avenue will be open during construction. The city will also open up its lot located on the corner of Williamson and Kirk Avenue for free parking until the project is finished.
This could cause some long term frustration if you're looking to park downtown. Market Square will lose 26 parking spaces to the project.
The finished product will have two elevated platforms on each side of Market Street, which will open up the area for vendors, outdoor dining, and live music. Project Manager Priscilla Cygielnik, says, "We are really hoping that it ends up being a pedestrian space that folks will be encouraged to shop and come down to the market, that they will feel safer shopping and bringing their families down to the market."
All of the shops in this area will remain open. Stores can be accessed using sidewalks and some walking detours will be set up.