The streetscape will “freshen up the square,” he said. “It will be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”
Plans include widening sidewalks, adding more trees and other greenery, and converting head-in parking on one side of the street to parallel parking. Also, above-ground utility lines will be buried underground and water lines around the square will be enlarged.
The city received a $1.7 million water quality grant from the state that will allow, among other things, the city to install brick pavers around the square to help move stormwater runoff from the area. The grant will also be used to improve a surface parking lot near the square.
In addition, one-way streets will be changed to two-way. “We believe it will slow down traffic around the square, which means more exposure for businesses,” Waller said. “It will also be safer for pedestrians.”
Work on the streetscape is expected to begin in the spring and take 12 to 15 months to complete.
Haynes said she is looking forward to the project’s completion. “It will make the square more visibly appealing to everyone and, I think, make our town sparkle even more.”
Renovation work on the building Haynes and her husband purchased is expected to be completed by late April. Haynes said she hopes to open Lula Belle Designs’ new located on the Indianola square in early May.
Pamela Bruce, who operates Pamela’s Place on the square, is also looking forward to the completion of the streetscape.
“It will enhance that experience people have when they shop at a small business,” Bruce said. “I think that when you go to the mall, you’re in and out of the store. When you come into one of our stores, you have a different experience in each store.
“With the new streetscape, you’ll have that aesthetic experience outside of the building as well. When you’re walking along the square, you’ll be getting that good feeling that you get when you’re in a small town.”
PHOTO ABOVE: A screenshot from Google maps of what streets in Indianola’s town square currently look like.