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ALACHUA– Renovations are underway for downtown Alachua as part of a larger plan to develop the area.

Northwest 150th Avenue, which runs by Skinner Field, is getting repaved with new asphalt. The makeover started Aug. 23, but it’s only part of the big picture.

“There absolutely is a bigger plan,” said Mike New, public services director for the city.

The goal is to make Northwest 150th Avenue and Northwest 142nd Terrace more like Main Street, he said. The improvements to Northwest 150th Avenue were phase two of a three-part plan.

New said, “150th avenue is going to have the same look and feel as Main Street does.”

The first phase was installing a retention reservoir under Skinner Field across from Alachua City Hall in April to help combat problems with flooding.

Renovating Northwest 142nd Terrace will be phase three.

Other than laying down new asphalt and pavement, the improvements will include landscaping and the installation of trash receptacles, new sidewalks, gutters on the curbs, straightening out the intersection between Northwest 142nd Terrace and U.S. Highway 441 and adding new parking spaces.

Property was acquired from five landowners to make room for the renovations, New said.

The total cost of the project was originally about $1.8 million, but the city changed some details and saved around $100,000. Northwest 150th Avenue should be fully repaved by the end of the week, he said, and the entire project should be finished by around February of next year. Work on Northwest 142nd Terrace should start this September. The project is paid for by the Downtown Redevelopment Trust Board (DRTB), which can only initiate projects in certain parts of town.

It had been planned by the DRTB since 2006 or 2007, New said.

“What the board wanted to do was interconnect Main Street with the Alachua Town Center, he said. “Tie them together so you can have that community feel.”

New said he thinks the project will be significant for Alachua.

“In 30 years, it will be spoken of with the same significance that Main Street is today.”

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