CLINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The city of Clinton kicked off the first phase of a multi-million dollar INDOT project Tuesday morning to help repair some of their most used roads.

“I’m glad to see it finally happen. Like I said, we’ve been working on this project for five years and to see it come together like this, it’s great,” Mayor Jack Gilfoy said.

Gilfoy said this $2.5 million project will repair and replace many of the aspects of 9th Street, which he said needed a major facelift.

“During this project, we will put all new sidewalks, curbs, streets, waterlines, ADA ramps, and there is some trolley rails underneath the pavement here, we’re going to take all those out before we repave,” Gilfoy said.

During phase one, roads will be closed from 9th and Vine Streets to 9th and Anderson Streets.

“Initially we were going from Vine Street to Knowles in one complete project. In order to leverage some additional funding from a different source from INDOT to help the city get more funding, we’ve broken it up into two phases,” Eric Smith, VP of HWC Engineering, said.

Gilfoy and Smith both said that 9th Street is one of Clinton’s more popular streets with it holding events such as the Little Italy Festival.

“Obviously Ninth Street is a very historic area for the city. You’ve got the wine garden and a lot of the old, Italian heritages is part of the 9th street area and we’ve got a lot of commercial businesses here so improving the accessibility, sidewalks as well as drainage and the roadway itself, fixing that was addressing some critical needs,” Smith said.

Smith said breaking this project up into two phases was important so the city could ensure the Little Italy Festival could operate at full capacity, and so residents could still have access to local businesses.

The second phase will close down 9th and Anderson Streets, to 9th and Knowles, which Smith said will likely happen at the beginning of 2024.

“It’ll be a little inconvenient for a while but in the end, it’s going to be well worth it for the residents,” Smith said.

Phase one should be finished in time for the Little Italy Festival in September. Gilfoy said if for some reason it’s not, the festival will still happen in full swing, and the road will reopen for the festivities.