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D.C.'s U Street construction project begins

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Washington's U Street is soon going to be looking a lot like nearby 18th Street, where a streetscape project is already underway. There will be wider sidewalks, new street lights and landscaping.

But back on U Street, businesses are apprehensive. They remember how Metro construction in the 90s killed businesses in the area.

“It was like a night mare like a ghost town,” says Stacie Lee Banks, a florist.

DDOT says it's going to be better this time minimizing the impact. It will start at 9th Street and move toward 14 Street one block at a time. At all times it will maintain vehicular and pedestrian access.

District of Columbia transportation officials say work is to begin Monday to overhaul the streetscape along U Street between 9th and 14th streets. The work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Roadways will be repaved, and traffic signals and storm drains will be upgraded.

At least one lane of traffic will be kept open in each direction during construction.

But curbside parking will be restricted.

The work is scheduled for completion in spring 2013.

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