ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- After five years of planning and more than two years of construction, Riberia Street is finally open for business.
City leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning to mark the completion of the rehabilitation project. City Manager John Regan says it was one of St. Augustine's most significant projects.
"It was a road that needed a complete rebuild for decades," said Regan.
Neighbors say the wait and noisy construction were well worth it. Katherine Jamison says the street she used to play on as a child has come a long way.
"It was bumpy. We had a lot of flooding when it rained and we got a nice road now," said Jamison.
Regan says it cost the city roughly $10 million to repair everything from the drainage and sewer systems to power lines and even sidewalks.
"This street might be hundreds of years old. The pavement that was here, it didn't drain. It was full of potholes; it affected our emergency response time. The water system was substandard," said Regan.
But now it's smooth sailing on Riberia Street. The changes run for more than a mile, from King Street all the way down to the Willie Gallimore center.
Regan says he hopes the new road will give local businesses a much-needed boost. Jamison says it has now become a source of pride for her neighborhood.
"This is my childhood home. I grew up on Riberia Street," said Jamison.