Tuesday night the Auburn City Council voted to go forward with the "Renew Opelika Road Corridor" plan. The city and local business owners are looking forward to the development.
Over the past 18 months the Auburn planning department has been working on a design to revitalize Opelika Road. Before Tuesday's meeting the department met with council and the public to get feedback on the rough drafts.
The "Renew Opelika Road Corridor" plan is a multi-year project intended to increase economic development in the area. Over the next 20 years Auburn hopes the corridor will become a destination for shoppers.
Local business owners had questions about the plan at first, namely whether to put in medians at certain intersections, but the city has been receptive to their input and planning director Forrest Cotten says the design is a work in progress.
"We're going to have to work it as we go along the corridor," says Cotten. "It'll be very deliberate. We'll be very open and very communicative with all the businesses, and I think we've demonstrated that and will continue to demonstrate that."
The city has already approved $5 million for the first five years of the project. Cotten says he doesn't think council will have a problem continuing to allocate funds as members see the success of the project.
The project is slated to move in a strategic west-to-east plan, starting at Gay Street and moving away from the city's center as it progresses.
Cotten says he hopes Opelika Road can become a place people go "to" and not go "through."