KERNVILLE, Calif. -
It has been a long time coming, but Kernville is finally getting a nearly two million dollar makeover thanks to a $900,000 grant and money from Kern County.
“So what they're doing is they're putting crosswalks, sidewalks around the Circle Park and businesses that were not completed with sidewalks. We’re also getting new curbs and gutters everywhere and it's going to be handicap accessible,” said Cheryl Borthick, President of the Kernville Chamber of Commerce.
Borthick also told 23 ABC it’s part of a plan to make the downtown area safer for people to walk around.
“At first all we wanted was a crosswalk and for the traffic to slow down because some drivers come through at 50 miles per hour and people try to walk because it is so accessible to all the business downtown."
The town will also look nicer when the project is complete. There will be new street lights on every corner of Circle Park and the crosswalks will be stamped concrete that look like the old wooden planks to keep with the western theme of Kernville.
"I think it's going to be great. It's going to be a new uplift for us to have the benches. A lot of people don't know about it and I think it's going to be really awesome to get around when it's done,” said Kernville Resident Sandra Hart-Weser.
"It's just going to add to what is already here, the charm of Kernville and the look of everything,” explained Cheryl’s Diner waitress, Sandi Johnstone.
Johnstone also told 23 ABC she hopes people will be patient because construction crews are working really hard and it’s going to be nice when it’s all finished.
But, not everyone is happy about the new changes. One business owner 23 ABC spoke to said the changes will take away from the town’s historical value. Another owner said the construction is hurting their business.
Borthick told 23 ABC they made sure to plan for the construction to begin during Kernville’s slowest season and a lot of progress has been made. Borthick said the phase one of the renovations should be finished in two weeks.
"Kernville is still open. We're still in business and it's going to be beautiful and come up and see how it looks when it's finished."