Improving Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

A major renovation project is now in the works for the area along Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Valdosta. At least $1 million will be spent on the project, but that could be doubled by a federal grant.

For many years the street has seen little new economic development. That's all about to change thanks to the city's plan to revitalize the entire corridor.

The plans call for new sidewalks, improved streets, an expanded Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, and other features to help breathe new life into the area.

Willie T. Head who supports the improvement project, says, "Along MLK will be a historic depiction of what Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled in life, along with pocket parks and off street parking that will make it a joyous place for people to come and visit and relive what once existed here."

Mara Register, Community Development Director, says, "An urban market will be coming under the overpass, which will be an area for our local home-grown produce producers and homegrown artist to have a place to show and sell their goods. It’s all about economic stimulation in this neighborhood."

Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, says, "It's about better sidewalks and improved roads and open spaces, but the end result of the project is we want it to be an economic success and make the area economically viable again."

Folks who live along the corridor say they're just looking forward to when the work will actually begin, likely in the next six months.

Supporters hope the project will transform Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in the same way downtown Valdosta was transformed several years ago.