WINCHESTER, VA- The Winchester Pedestrian Mall, as we know it, will soon have a different face.
"We're going to rip it all down," says City Engineer Kelly Henshaw. "All down to the utilities."
The Pedestrian Mall Improvement Project is set to change the entire landscape of the historic mall, bringing it into a more modern focus.
"We'll be getting new water lines, sanitary sewer lines, new storm sewers, electric," Henshaw says. "Then, coming up from there we'll have all new pavement treatments on the mall," she adds.
Along with new landscaping, the city will replace old sewers and water lines they say have become unreliable.
"We have sewer lateral problems with a lot of the restaurants and businesses down here," says Henshaw.
The city engineer says businesses will be impacted while they work to rebuild the mall.
"The patios actually they'll be cleared out after Christmas," says Susan Touchette, General Manager at Union Jack Pub. "The city's coming through and picking up everything," she adds.
But, they're working to accommodate businesses.
"We plan to maintain a four-foot walkway from the face of all the buildings to allow pedestrians and patrons to get into the businesses," says Henshaw.
"I think a lot of us are just worried depending on the weather," says Touchette. "If it's a hard winter and it stalls up the construction, it definitely will affect all of us down here."
Although everything from the pipes to the bricks will be replaced during the renovation project, the city says they're making an extra effort to preserve the historic charm of Downtown Winchester.
"I think it's a really great combination of bringing the old and new together," says Henshaw. "We tried to keep a lot of the historic type elements like the bricks, the stone, and the rod iron, but it's just gonna have a fresh new look."
It's a fresh look and a fresh start they hope will bring new life to Historic Old Town.