SHERMAN, TX -- Construction is underway on a project to make downtown Sherman safer for pedestrians.
Downtown Sherman is getting a new look that city officials hope will draw more people to downtown businesses. It all started in 2009 with a plan. Now, that plan's becoming reality.
"We are going to come in and take out the large striped areas and put in a real nice pedestrian plaza and make it more comfortable distance crossing the street," said Clay Barnett, City Engineer at Sherman.
"We've been a part of the downtown organization for a lot of years and this is the first time that I can recall just absolutely unanimous enthusiasm for a project," said David Gunn, president of Knight Furniture.
David Gunn is the president of Knight Furniture, he says he hopes the new project will make residents proud of their downtown and bring more visitors.
"The downtown property owners are extremely excited about it. They're looking forward to having a more walkable downtown area where its nice to be able to sit and relax," said Barnett.
"I just think it's great for the entire city of Sherman. It's a great enhancement anytime you enhance the appeal of any part of the city, especially in downtown," said Gunn.
The project will create 18 new parking spots for downtown and the entire square will be one way only. Several intersections will also be re-paved.
"This project is the culmination of several years worth of effort between downtown property owners, citizens, the city of sherman, and TxDOT is involved with the grant as well," said Barnett.
Planning began in 2009 when the Sherman City Council applied for a Federal Grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, while putting aside funds to complete the project. The city was awarded the grant in July 2010, and now the transformation can begin.
"It should enhance the parking, which has always been a problem in downtown, and then to just enhance the overall appeal of the area. Hopefully people will want to spend more time downtown," said Gunn.