After years of planning, several public forums, and some pushback, part of Magnolia Avenue is getting a makeover.

January 2016: Magnolia Avenue streetscape plans draw mixed reviews

February 2016: People protest Magnolia Streetscape project at City Council meeting

The groundbreaking ceremony to begin phase one of the $4.1 million project began at 10 a.m. Thursday, August 9, with Mayor Rogero and other city leaders in attendance.

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The first phase of the project will begin at the intersection of Jessamine Street and Magnolia Ave. and move westward down Magnolia Ave.

The revitalization work will focus on improving the look, pedestrian mobility, transit use and safety of the roads.

New stamped crosswalks, stamped medians, on-street parking, wider sidewalks and bike lanes and LED street lights will be some of the changes that city leaders hope will both improve pedestrian safety and make it easier to bike along Magnolia Avenue.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero called the project an investment to the community and that area at a reception held in April by Pellissippi State Community College.

"What we hope the end result of all of this will be is more neighborhood-serving businesses, more opportunities for people who live in this neighborhood to take advantage of all the great offerings that we have," Rogero said.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by fall of 2019.