Auburn plans huge revamping of Opelika Road - WRBL

Auburn plans huge revamping of Opelika Road

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Gulledge Gulledge
Opelika Road in Auburn Opelika Road in Auburn

The city of Auburn is making progress on a multi-year plan to revamp Opelika Road.

Some business owners in the area had questions about how it would affect their business.

Auburn is pushing for a 10-20 year plan that could cost as much as twenty million dollars to improve Opelika road. They say it is time to make it friendlier to businesses and their customers.

It will start at the intersection of Opelika Road and Gay Street in Auburn. The project is called "Renew Opelika Road."

 "It will be incremental as all long range plans are," said Auburn City Planning Director Forrest Cotten. "But, we do think it's critical that as soon as possible, people can be able to see physical improvements being made."

The city has lofty goals for this busy road.

The city over the next twenty years hopes to make this a destination for shoppers, and so that businesses will populate the area down Opelika Road.

And business owners like Glen Gulledge at Byron's Smokehouse want to make sure the city enacts the correct changes.

 "Anything that can help businesses up and down this road, I'm obviously for," said Gulledge. "We just want to make sure it is good for everybody. I was a little concerned that they have not asked for enough input from the people that had been here 30,40, 50 years."

The city says businesses should not be worried because they will seek their input.

"When we actually get into making improvements, we will be meeting with business owners on a business by business basis," Cotten said. "A big discussion point has been medians. The medians that have been shown on the plan are for illustrative purposes only."

Some of the specific plans could change as improvements are made. And while there are some concerns, the city seems to have plenty of support.

"Competition is tough enough in this town already," Gulledge said. "We don't need to make it hard for them to get here. I feel confident in that. Auburn has done a lot of good things and come a long way with the people they got down there."

You could see some work being done on Opelika Road starting next year. The city says the changes would be made in sections and they will not block traffic for any businesses. 

You can find out more about the city's plans at http://www.auburnalabama.org/renew/Main.aspx

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