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Historic street renovations celebrated

Hypolita Street in St. Augustine reopens after 8 months of construction

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Businesses in the heart of St. Augustine hope renovations mean more revenue.

Hypolita Street was closed for eight months while construction work was done, and a festival was held Friday to celebrate the reopening and makeover of the busy historic street.

Hypolita Street is home to dozens of businesses that bring the city tourists and income every year.

"We reconstructed all the underground utilities, and the finished surface is a brick street with sidewalk, new street lights, and it's beautiful," said Martha Graham, of the city's Public Works Department.

Graham said the underground utilities were paid for by the city, and what she calls a facelift for the street itself was paid half by the city and half by the businesses on Hypolita.

The project was approved last year after concerns from business owners who said the streets needed to be safer and more attractive.

Some of the improvements of the Legacy Project include sidewalks for pedestrians, lighting, stormwater drainage, gas lines, brick pavers and landscaping.

Graham said being excited is an understatement on how not only business owners feel about the reopening, but the nation's oldest city's leaders as well.

"We see this to be an economic boom for the area," Graham said. "There's three streets to be reconstructed, and it's going to be very attractive and attract more visitors, and it will definitely be an improvement for the area."