FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – Barricades are going up and starting next week work will begin at the City of Fairhope’s parking garage and adjacent alley. New storm drains are going in along with upgraded utilities, but that’s not all.

“The paving there we’ll be taking that out and putting pavers in, we’ll be cleaning that area up,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan.

Those improvements are shown in artist renderings. Mayor Sullivan says the space will be transformed into a courtyard, allowing better flow for pedestrians, but also helping to alleviate on-street parking congestion throughout downtown which should encourage more people to use the underutilized garage.

“Spruce that area up, make it more inviting to people, do some signage to encourage people to use the parking deck and hopefully make it more inviting and people want to use it,” she explained.

The project is expected to take about 6 months to complete. The City is hoping construction wraps up before July 4.

New lighting will be installed and a BRATS public transportation hub will also be added. The city is working with a local artist to create an archway entrance along Church Street, too. We’re told at least one entrance to the garage will remain open during construction and parking will still be available during peak times like Mardi Gras.