DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Big changes are on the way to the entrance of the “World’s Most Famous” beach. Daytona Beach city leaders and the Florida Department of Transportation just approved a major safety and visual project for the east side of International Speedway Boulevard.
It’ll be a nearly $22 million facelift to the portion of the street on the beachside and work is set to start next year.
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“This is the gateway to Daytona Beach and we welcome 10 million visitors annually,” said Mayor Derrick Henry.
Henry said that gateway has suffered over the last decade and that it’s lacking safety for pedestrians, booming business and even landscaping.
“When people come to the beautiful Daytona Beach, they want to feel as though they’re riding into paradise and unfortunately, with the look of east I.S.B. that has not been the case,” he said.
FDOT revealed its plan for residents in the area on Wednesday night and the department will largely cover funding for it.
It’s purchasing a few lots on both sides of the road near the Halifax Avenue intersection.
Six-foot-wide sidewalks will be added on the north side of ISB, 10-foot-wide ones on the south, and medians with landscaping will be added in the middle.
“The sidewalks as well as what we’re doing for pedestrian safety, because we do suffer in that area,” said Henry.
The street will also be widened, lights redone and turning lanes added.
Henry said it’s all to get the ball rolling on a long-awaited renaissance in the area that will trickle east, from new luxury apartments planned for downtown Beach Street and improvements to Main Street.
“The business portion I think will take care of itself, but this is the portion that we can take care of as it relates to the infrastructure,” said Henry.
FDOT said the work will take about a year to complete and it will start in 2023.