FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – On Friday, Florence city leaders along with members of the North Florence community announced plans to start work on the Vista Streetscape Project.

“We all know that for decades the neighborhood that we are standing in and the neighborhoods that surround it have been under served.  Development has left, revitalization has not been received here and we are going to change that,” said Mayor Stephen Wukela.

The vista streetscape project, in the city eyes, is the catalyst to revamping this side of town.  The city will spend $350,000 on these improvements

“Today I’m very proud of us as a city.  We have a lot to do still yet but at least we finally got it started in the right direction,” stated Florence City Councilwoman Teresa Myers Ervin.

“…But maybe, maybe we are getting close to the end of the beginning of changing and revitalizing the neighborhoods in North, Northeast and Northwest Florence,” added Wukela.

Phase one of the project will bring in a new 5 foot sidewalk along the south side of Vista St. and new ADA ramps at the intersection of Irby and Vista streets.

Also street trees and a raised intersection with crosswalks to improve safety and access to the nearby North Vista Elementary School will be added.

“Our children are born into this world bright eyed, expecting wonderful things and we’re finally going to be a city that shows them that we can all work together,” Ervin explained.

After phase one, the next step is to eventually build new single-family housing along Vista St.

“Out of 50 years, we need something new in our neighborhood.  For the city and the school to partner together to bring new houses and new development to North Florence to me I think that’s a great idea,” said Betty Faye Gregg, who lives in North Florence.

Phase one is expected to take three months to complete with work wrapping up in July.