KILGORE, Texas (KETK) – The city of Kilgore began working on a $2.3 million project to improve and make their downtown area more visitor friendly.

Phase one of the project began Monday where they will focus on improving road conditions near US 259 and Rusk Street.

In June and August, they will begin concrete work for new curbs and sidewalks. Then in 2022, all water, sewer and storm drains will be replaced.

The final two phases will last from 2022 to 2023.

The owner of Kilgore Carpets said that she had been in the downtown area for 35 years and that over time, they have seen a lot of neighboring businesses move out.

“A new location would be more beneficial to us, but we own the building and we’ve been here so long,” Sherron Hill, the owner of Kilgore Carpets and Interiors said. “Most people know where we’re located and there’s a lot of traffic in this area.”

Ryan Polk, the Tourism Manager of Visit Kilgore said that downtown is still the heart of Kilgore and that changes like this project are important so that Kilgore is easily accessed.

City leaders have said that drivers will need to drive slow and expect some delays and that all of the downtown businesses will be open during the construction.