Crews are currently digging up dirt and burying utility wires as part of downtown Crozet's makeover. It's the last step before work shifts from underground to a street-level spruce-up.
Underground work will close one lane of Crozet Avenue Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. That's part of the library construction.
Drivers in Crozet should get used to the delays and detours. The start of the streetscape's second phase is just months away.
Construction sights stop Alison Miller's sons on their stroll along Crozet Avenue.
"Just taking a walk to check out the building of the new library," said Miller, who lives in Crozet.
Miller maneuvers around with a stroller on a chipped-away sidewalk.
"There's not enough of it on both sides. And it's not the most pleasant place to walk with all the traffic," said Miller.
Soon, the Miller boys will have more big equipment to distract them on the walk downtown.
"Things are busy out in Crozet," said Trevor Henry, Albemarle County director of facilities development.
Utility crews are a month out from finishing burying power, cable, and data lines. Then poles came down. In the meantime, Albemarle County is waiting to get the easement from one final property owner.
"It's really been kind of a challenge, but we're down to the last one. We're close," said Henry.
The county expects to begin construction on the streetscape's second phase in October.
The $3.4 million makeover will create a tree-lined Crozet Avenue with wider sidewalks along both sides from the square to Tabor Street.
"It'll be, I think, a more attractive downtown, hopefully a more pedestrian-friendly downtown, and we hope it becomes a hub of activity in Crozet," said Henry.
Downtown businesses and drivers are preparing for construction headaches for eight to 12 months.
"If Crozet can bear with us, I think the end product is going to be something special," said Henry.
"I think it'll be great once it's done. The process I'm sure will be kind of painful," said Miller.
The Miller family looks forward to an easier and safer way to travel through Crozet.
"We'd love to get out more and take advantage of it," said Miller.
One lane of Crozet Avenue will stay open during the streetscape work so people can access businesses along there.
The county plans to host a town hall in late September to answer any questions or concerns about the construction.
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