JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The city of Jeffersonville has been getting a major makeover the past few years. Now, a long-neglected part of the city is finally getting some attention.
City officials broke ground Tuesday on a nearly $1 million project to improve Spring Street in the Claysburg neighborhood.
Eddie and Pauline Shanklin have lived in Claysburg for 40 years.
"This neighborhood is great," said Pauline Shanklin. "I love this neighborhood, and I love the people in this neighborhood."
But the Shanklins said the historically African American neighborhood off Spring Street has long been neglected, even as nearby downtown Jeffersonville is transformed.
"We just want our area to come alive, just like the rest of the city is alive, so that we can have some city pride," Pauline told WDRB News.
Jeffersonville City Councilman Dustin White agreed.
"There has been no positive investment from a government perspective for decades," White said.
That began to change when White and Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore broke ground on the Spring Street project.
"I'm proud to say we stopped talking about it, and we're getting it done," said Moore.
The project includes rebuilding crumbling and missing sidewalks, improving lighting, and enhancing bus stops.
The enhancements are important in an area where many walk, bike, and use wheelchairs to get around.
"There's been a disconnect with this neighborhood, and this will make Claysburg be able to connect to the rest of the city," Moore said.
Phase One of the project reconstructs a roughly three-block area from 14th to Riddle Streets. Later, Phase Two will improve Spring Street all the way to the riverfront.
"We've been hearing about it, hearing about it, and now we're going to see the results of it," said Pauline.
Phase One is set to be finished by the end of August.
"It's dignity,” said White. "It's becoming part of the Jeffersonville renaissance."
"The downtown area has been changed tremendously," said Eddie Shanklin. "Now, it's going to continue to happen out here, and we're truly blessed."
The city plans to keep Spring Street open during construction to maintain access to businesses and homes.
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