Most work taking place on Leona Street

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

Work is underway on Orange Grove's Downtown Revitalization Project, which will help strengthen Leona Street and lead to the construction of new sidewalks, handicap ramps and handicap striping downtown, City Administrator Rick Lopez said.

"The main street that will be effected is Leona Street, which runs next to Stripes," Lopez said. "From this starting point, we hope to have the project completed in three months."

There has been increased heavy truck traffic on Leona since the opening of the Stripes store last year, and project engineers devised a plan to strengthen Leona Street to handle the added weight.

The roadway, originally constructed years ago, was not built to handle such prolonged heavy traffic.

Lopez said it has been quite some time since that part of Orange Grove has received this level of attention.

The project is paid for through a Downtown Revitalization grant, along with additional funding by Stripes to assist with the reconstruction of Leona Street.

In the planning stages, contractors made provisions for incoming and outgoing traffic to the Stripes store, to ensure Leona Street would be avoided during the reconstruction.

The store has three other access points besides the Leona Street access, which will be shut down for construction.

As for the construction of sidewalks, handicap ramps and striping, Lopez said that part of the project would give downtown a much needed face-lift.

With the Orange Grove Centennial Celebration coming up in April, that timeline will come close to the Revitalization Project timeline, but Lopez said the two activities should not interfere with one another.

"The major construction will be focused on Leona, and not at Eugenia or Pundt Street, where much of the Centennial Celebration will be focused at. It should not affect the celebration at all," Lopez said.