- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—LEESBURG — Even though construction workers and large trucks were fixtures along Main Street for months, 74-year-old resident Millie Mitchell said the bumps in the road didn’t get her down.

Mitchell said the streetscape project, which came with a price tag of $3.8 million to the city, has helped improve the look of the area and could help bring some new businesses.

“Even when the road was partially closed it didn’t slow me down,” said Mitchell, who lives in the Spanish Oaks complex along Main Street. “I like to zip around town and the workers and trucks didn’t pose a problem at all.”

Residents and city officials marked the completion of the project Friday at a ceremony during which Mayor Elise Dennison cut a green ribbon draped in front of a cheerful crowd. The project added decorative sidewalks, crosswalks, streetlights and two gateway arches and included water- and sewer-line improvements and better storm-water collection.

Dennison said this is just the start of modernizing Lake County’s second-largest city, home to more than 21,000 residents. She said projects such as upcoming Venetian Gardens renovations, which will include new park equipment and a splash pad, will improve the quality of life in the area even more.

“Leesburg is coming back…” she said. “This used to look like something from the 1910s, so now we’ve now moved it up to 2015, and I just think the people of Leesburg should be proud of how the area looks now.”

The project came with some speed bumps as some businesses complained with the road periodically shutting down.

“We already have some success stories with some new businesses and restaurants opening. This project has already increased foot traffic and will continue to over time.”

Bob Tucker, who owns Miss Daisy’s Flowers & Gifts on Main Street, said even though the project decreased foot traffic into his shop for a short period the results were worth it.

“It’s gorgeous,” he said. “Sometimes you have to tolerate some construction for a short period to get a great result and that’s exactly what happened. It was a fantastic project and I’m so grateful to the city for completing it.”

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