Hickory says downtown project will be complete next week

Hickory revitalization near completion?

HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - A project to transform downtown Hickory that began on Union Square in April is almost finished say city leaders.

That, despite fields of dirt, fencing everywhere, and workers still busy on electrical, masonry and landscaping tasks.

City officials say crews are working day and night to complete the project and they are so confident they will, that a concert has been scheduled on the site for Sept. 6.

Since April, the entire Union Square has been under construction. All pavers were torn up, bathrooms torn down and protective fencing left just a few feet of space in front of the businesses.

“We are ready for the fencing to come down and get us out of prison,” said Lisa Hamby at Charlie Grainger’s restaurant.

It’s been a tough summer dealing with all the work she says but merchants are hopeful the finished project will indeed transform the downtown area.

“It will be awesome,” she said. The project is just part of Hickory’s City walk Program.

More than $40 million in bonds passed in 2014 and a like amount was obtained through grants.

Projects are planned across the city over the next five years. Construction on the City Walk itself will begin in September.

As for whether Union Square will be ready in a week and a half, many who stopped by were skeptical.

I’ll believe it when I see it,” said one man.

“There sure is a lot left to be done,” said another.

Officials say crews are on schedule and only a few minor projects will be left on Union Square after next week.

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