A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday for Phase One of the Chimney Rock Village Streetscape Improvement Project.
The project will include a plaza area in the middle of the village and wider sidewalks.
The plan is to enhance sidewalks, improve parking, build new civic plazas and offer more street lighting and trees. The goal is for these enhancements to drive longer visitor stays to the area and in turn yield greater economic strength.
Mayor Peter O'Leary said Chimney Rock is becoming more popular, and they want to create space to make things more enjoyable for visitors.
"Our goal is to try and create a better, safer, more pleasant pedestrian experience and to make the town -- the whole village -- much more pedestrian-friendly," O'Leary said.
Mayor O'Leary said many people love Chimney Rock Village the way it is.
He said they're not trying to change it, but rather to improve what's there and make it more accessible to a broader range of people.
For more information, visit rutherfordbound.com/project/chimney-rock-village-streetscape.