LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A busy street in downtown Louisville will soon go from one-way to two-way with prep work starting the week of Feb. 19. 

On Wednesday, Metro Public Works and Louisville Forward announced Third Street will be converted to two-way with section of the street completed by the time the Omni Hotel opens March 6.

The project has been talked about and in the works for years and is often done in pairs. Second Street was converted into a two-way street in 1991.

“Two-way streets, typically you see slower traffic speeds," said Jeff O’Brien, Director of Develop Louisville. "So accident and crashes are less severe than they would be on our one-way street operations."

The street conversion will be divided into three parts. The first will begin the week of Feb. 19 from Muhammad Ali Boulevard to Liberty Street, with the addition of a temporary traffic signal.

The next phases, from Main to Market Streets and Muhammad Ali Boulevard to Broadway, will be later.

But the changes won’t affect the entire street. One area of the road will remain a one-way.

“There is some issues with Third Street as it goes under the Convention Center, that tunnel area," said Metro Director of Transportation John Callihan. "So it is really not going to be conducive to two-way traffic through that segment."

City officials hope the two-way street will cause more people to notice businesses that may often be overlooked on one-way streets. The street will also be re-striped and paved, something else Robert Whiteside, who owns The Barbershop on Third Street, is glad to hear about.

“We hoping they get them fixed, the roads, because people’s cars getting beat up, because of the roads being under construction," he said "I think it would be a great deal if they get them fixed."

Public Works officials said the second and third phases of the conversation will begin sometime after the Kentucky Derby and be complete this summer.

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