JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)– The $35 million West Walnut Street redevelopment project in downtown Johnson City has been ongoing for more than a year. Phase I of the project is still in progress, which includes paving roads in the first portion of the corridor from Buffalo Street.

City Engineer Wallace McCulloch said the city anticipates being done with Phase I sometime in the next several months.

“Sevier Street has now been paved, and the curb and gutter is in because of that,” McCulloch said. “They did not do the intersection at Walnut because there is a lot of brick pavers and it’s a little more upgraded than just asphalt.”

The redevelopment of West Walnut Street is intended to bring more people to that area of town and bring in more business. Vicki Tipton, Café Manager at One Acre Café, said although the construction has been difficult, they are excited to see the end results.

“Some days it’s a little difficult to get in and out the front, but we encourage customers to continue to come in,” Tipton said. “We’ve got other entrances from the back and on the side, so keep coming in.”

Tipton said she and other business operators along West Walnut hope that, ultimately, the project will have a major impact that draws more traffic to the area.

The project has also led to work at Founders Park. McCulloch said crews will be restoring the park back to its previous status and appearance once that water operations are completed.

“The path next to the railroad tracks [are] going to be blocked off until probably May or June, somewhere in that time frame,” McCulloch said.

Phase II of the project is expected to begin by the spring of this year. McCulloch said as long as the weather permits, the city hopes to have the entire redevelopment done by the summer of 2024.