CLEVELAND -- It will soon be a much smoother ride on a major Cleveland roadway. A long-awaited construction project is now underway.
The drive along Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Cleveland is beautiful, but also a bit bumpy.
"Bumpy is being nice, it's being nice. I mean, if I was driving any car with a lower suspension, I would probably have bumps and dents all over my undercarriage," said motorist Lawrence Song.
That's all about to change.
On Monday, construction crews began a $4.3 million project to repave more than two and a half miles of MLK Drive from Interstate 90 to Chester Avenue.
"They'll be replacing the asphalt pavement, they'll be repairing some drainage, some catch basins, replacing some curbs and doing a little water line work," said Jomarie Wasik, director of the Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects.
"I'd say it's ten years too late," Song added.
"This is beautiful and this is what the city needs, smooth streets. I hear so many people come here from other cities and talk about how bumpy the streets are here. Maybe if we smooth the streets out a little bit, maybe more people will come from out of town and spend some money here," said motorist Greg Madison.
MLK is a major thoroughfare from I-90 to University Circle. During construction, drivers will still be able to travel one way in each direction. Pedestrian walkways and bicycle traffic will remain open, too.
"It's always been a great parkway, so I've always loved that, but with all the bumps, it's a little bit harder to enjoy, so it's great, and it cuts through an interesting neighborhood, the neighborhood deserves a good road," said motorist Jeff Hagan.
In addition to a newly-paved roadway, there will also be parking installed near some of the cultural gardens.
"There's very limited parking, we have found that there are some pockets that we can get the width to put in some parking, so that people can enjoy the gardens," Wasik said.
Officials want to remind drivers to slow down and give extra time to get where you need to go during the construction period.
The work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.