DURHAM — A soulful bash capped with a fireworks display will be held June 23 to coincide (cross fingers here) with the completion of downtown Durham's street and sidewalk renovations.
Three months late and $4 million (40 percent) over budget, the streetscape project is the missing link between the old dilapidated downtown and a city-center renaissance, many say.
Bill Kalkhof, president of the booster group Downtown Durham Inc., said more than $1 billion in public and private investment has been made downtown or will be made by 2011.
Brick sidewalks and freshly paved, realigned streets will provide the appropriately spruced-up setting.
Jon Wilson of Kimley-Horn and Associates, the company the city hired to manage the project, guaranteed at a Tuesday morning news conference the streetscape would be finished by June 23.
But after months of delays caused by weather and underground obstructions, Kalkhof said, "It will be a little bit of a race."
Mayor Bill Bell said the $14.2 million project will be worth it.
"Once it's done, people won't worry about how long it took," he said.
Staff writer Matt Dees can be reached at 956-2433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.